Party politics in Ethiopia: Coalition and Fragmentation in Opposition Parties since 2005
Solomon Tefera (Ambo University, Ambo, Ethiopia)

This study examined the politics of party coalition and fragmentation in Ethiopian opposition parties since 2005. The study investigated the challenges of sustaining coalition by Ethiopian opposition political parties and the factors that led to their fragmentation. It employed qualitative methodological approach. Accordingly, empirical data were gathered from both primary and secondary sources. The finding of the study illustrates that the Ethiopian opposition parties have been unable to build strong and sustainable party coalition. The study identifies the following major driving factors to form coalition includes financial predicaments, and party leaders. On the contrary, factors that have been challenges and leading to fragmentation include lack of able leadership, lack of internal party democracy, ethnic division in coalition, size of party coalition and ruling party intervention. The study suggests that reducing the number of parties in the coalition, democratizing internal party structure, encouragement and support from the ruling party to the opposition parties rather than intervening to weakening the opposition parties, and forging a common agenda would lead to successful party coalition in Ethiopia. In Addition, the study addresses that political parties should constructively resolve their major differences and reach authentic consensus and forming national party will contribute for the success of party coalition. The parties have to have manifestos of the affiliate political parties merged to form a common manifesto for the coalition. Moreover, standardized training for party leaders and principle of leadership should be given so as to form effective party coalition and save from fragmentation.