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Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Leadership crisis grips UDJ

Members of the Unity for Democracy and Justice Party (UDJ) that oppose the resignation of the former president, Gizachew Shiferaw (Eng.), and his replacement, Belay Fikadu, are accusing the new leadership of violating the principles and the bylaws of the party.
This was disclosed at a press conference held at Sarem Hotel on  Saturday where Ayele Semeneh, member of national council and eastern zone coordinator, Sida Haile, Sidama zone representative and Birhanu Fekena, western zone coordinator of the party, argued that new leadership had seized power illegally.
In their statement, the three members claimed, “The leadership of the party is overtaken by groups who are driven by some forces from the diaspora and the resignation of the former president is illegal and forceful.”
They claimed that, “the leadership of the party is controlled by groups who have a hidden agenda and it is overriding the culture of the party that is mainly resolving its problems through dialogue.” They therefore, demanded discussion over the issues to restore the culture of the party.
The Reporter asked that if the culture of the party was resolving its challenges through discussion why the three members had chosen to give a press conference instead of discussing it within the party system. “We tried to discuss the issue to find a solution, but the leadership is not willing,” he replied, adding “we are doing this not for the sake of power but for the respect of the bylaws and principles of the party.”
In defense of the group's actions, Asrat Abreha, acting head of public relation of UDJ, told The Reporter that “the highest body of the party is the general assembly and the general assembly approved the election of the new president by the national council of the party, and therefore their claim is baseless and they themselves are violating the principles and bylaws of the party.”
 “These individuals who are blaming the leadership were part of the election process of the new president and for them to claim that the principles and bylaws are violated is completely absurd,” he said.
He said that the case raised by the individuals was being inspected by the discipline committee of the party and that they had failed to appear before the committee and explain and defend their decisions, adding that they don’t have any legal grounds to accuse the leadership of  not complying with the bylaws of the party. 
“We don’t have any hidden agenda. However, they might have another mission to accomplish, and we are assigned to protect the party. We don’t relinguish the leadership in favor of individuals pursuing illegal goals”.