Who has the mandate in Ethiopia?

By IndepthAfrica
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Nov 8th, 2012
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Let me add that only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.
Benjamin Franklin

by MeKonnen H. Birru, PhD

Yesterday, over 90 million Americans voted and in Texas time exactly 11:12 PM, the former one term U.S senator from the state of Illinois won his second and last term of the U.S. presidency with 303 electoral votes. Florida’s result still not in but doesn’t matter anymore because the young African American incumbent won six of the seven battle ground states such as Iowa, Colorado, Nevada, and Ohio. “We will pray for him,” said Mr. Romney in his concession speech right before Obama’s hopeful speech. To the rest of us who had been anxiously waiting to see the election result, now the snow is melted, the spring is in, the sun is rising again. Now, we all clearly know who has the mandate to lead this great nation; yes, we have a new democratically elected president. Not just democrats or the 50% who voted for Obama but the entire nation accepts the re-elected Commander in Chief. Yes, the people gave him a mandate to wage war on their behalf, to negotiate on with other nations on their behalf, to tax on their behalf, and to call himself the leader of the free world on their behalf. God bless America. “I know that political campaigns can sometimes seem small, even silly. ….but it is important,” said the president last night, and he continued, “The belief that our destiny is shared; that this country only works when we accept certain obligations to one another and to future generations. The freedom which so many American have fought for and died for come with responsibilities as well as rights”. Yes, so many died for America, so many died for their freedom, and so many died to see a day like yesterday. It is also true that so many have died for that ancient and holy nation of Ethiopia, too.

Unfortunately, the spring doesn’t seem around the corner for the majority of Ethiopians. We don’t see any flowers yet. We don’t hear music. Rather, the people of Ethiopia are in a fog season. The sky is not clear. Yes, the snow is still thick, the water is toxic, the mood is grim, the people are subdued, and so many millions do not know where to turn and ask: Who has the mandate to lead Ethiopia? They wish to see someone come out and concede after a true election. They also wish someone to come and declare a true victory. Who is the father figure in Ethiopia now? They desperately want that leader to hear their national anthem with pride and emotion. Who is the person we Ethiopians see and get proud as a leader right now? Whose speech we anxiously wait to listen? Who is going to come out and make us feel better if something wrong happen, God forbid? Who has the mandate to take us to send individuals to battle field? Mr. Bereket? Mr. Hailemariam? Mr. Abbay? Mr. Sibhat? EPRDF? TPLF? Who? Who has the mandate to rule our Muslim brothers? Who has the mandate to administer the Orthodox Church? Who has the mandate to administer the military? Who has the mandate to dictate the economy? Who has the grace and the trust of the people to defend our boarder? I don’t know.

God save us.

MeKonnen H. Birru is a Mental Health Professor at Fortis College and Houston Community College

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