‘illegitimate’ Ethiopian PM’s new party labelled

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Gebru BBC Tigrinya, Mekelle

Ethiopia’s new governing Prosperity Party (PP) has been labelled “illegitimate” by a new coalition of groups, including the once powerful Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).

The TPLF used to be part of the governing coalition, made up of four ethnically-based parties.

But it has refused to join Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s new grouping, which was supposed to be a merger of the four parties.

The TPLF is now part of a new alliance of 50 ethnically-based parties which have been meeting in Tigray’s main city, Mekelle.

In a joint communique, the alliance warned that Ethiopia is on the verge of disintegration.

Last month, Mr Abiy hailed the creation of the PP as a “crucial step in harnessing our energy to work toward a shared vision”.

But the TPLF’s refusal to become part of the PP highlighted problems for the prime minister.

He faces his first electoral challenge next year when his vision of a country that is unified on the one hand and ethnically diverse on the other will be tested.

The PP still needs to be registered with the electoral commission.