CUDP relieves Lidetu Ayalew, Mushe Semu of party responsibilities
October 29, 2005
The 60-member central council of CUDP, which endorsed the suspension based on 75,000 signatures collected from Lidetu Ayalew’s constituency, was conducting its meeting at its headquarters when several members of the security force and federal police of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi converged on the scene and started taking violent and scary actions.
Shocked CUDP officials, who were beaten and harassed by the security men, informed various embassies in Addis as well as Associated Press and AFP correspondents of the serious situation which threatened their lives. Two diplomats from Embassy of the Royal Netherlands who rushed to the scene were beaten and their camcorders and cameras confiscated by the security men. CUDP Vice President Ms. Birtukan Mideksa herself was also held for about half an hour. She was released later when the security forces drove away scores of others in turbulence.
Briefing the online Ethiopian Current Affairs Forum (ECAF), Engineer Gizachew Shiferaw, a CUDP Executive Committtee official, said an estimated group of 40 CUDP office workers and journalists was rounded up by police. The whereabouts of those held were not known.
CUDP has now emerged more unified and powerful, receiving messages of continued support from the Ethiopian people.
CUDP officials Engineer Gizachew and Yishak Kifle themselves were held at gunpoint but released with threats to their life. "Your life is in my hand, and I will see you later," one of the Meles securitymen told Gizachew bluntly.
“Those who were whisked away from the CUD offices were searched, photographed, and videoed by the security men,” Engineer Gizachew said.
CUDP, which has boycotted the parliament insisting that the ruling party accept CUDP's eight-point preconditions to resolve the post-election crisis, suspended Lidetu Ayalew after the latter kept fueling inner-party controversies which drained much of the time of the opposition party which is publicly recognized as the legitimate, chosen party of the Ethiopian people.
Prime Minister Meles, apparently resented by the nation as a reviled tyrant who misruled the country for 14 years and seeks another illegal five-year term, survives in office by hatching inner-party conflicts and deploying his hooligan security hirelings.
"Despite the controversies Lidetu created, CUDP enjoys tremendous public support, and all the measures now being taken have the full backing of the people," Gizachew said. "We voted for CUDP (Kinijit), not for one individual," was the message which topped the 75,000 signatures collected to remind Lidetu to respect CUDP's directives.
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