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Ethiopia’s Social Democratic Party changes its names

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Feb 10, 2006 (ADDIS ABABA) — The recently held general assembly of the Ethiopian Social Democratic Federal Party (ESDFP) decided to change its name to Ethiopian Social Democratic Party by removing the word "federal".

The party chairman, Prof. Beyene Petros, told The Reporter that the Social Democratic Party came into being over a year ago by replacing the former Ethiopian Alternative Forces Council in November 2004.

"But by that time we were involved in election campaign for the May 2005 elections under UEDF (United Ethiopian Democratic Forces) that we didn’t focus on publicizing our party," Dr. Beyene said.

At the time, according to Dr. Beyene, They decided to hold our general assembly after the elections.

Dr. Beyene insisted that their publicizing the new party had nothing to do with the split that occurred in the UEDF.

"We were making preparations for the general assembly for two months now. And the foreign-based UEDF member parties’ decision to go alone by splitting away from the local-based parties happened a month ago. So we didn’t come up with the Social Democratic Party because of this split. It’s just a matter of coincidence," Beyene argued.

He said that the core principle of his Social Democratic Party will be social justice based on equitable distribution of wealth, and to meet the society’s demand for basic social needs.

"We don’t accept the accumulation of wealth in the hands of the few and pray for the trickle down effect principle to work," Dr. Beyene said.

He added that the social democrats are well known in most European countries such as Germany and Scandinavian countries and hopes that it will work in Ethiopia.

Beyene said that the Ethiopian Social Democratic Party (ESDP) will notify the National Electoral Board of its decision to change its name. But he is not sure whether the board will accept it because of a possible similarity of acronyms with another registered party, i.e., the Ethiopian Somali Democratic Party (ESDP).

The general assembly elected Prof. Dr. Beyene as its chairman, Ato Mulu Meja as vice chairman and Ato Alema Koira as its secretary.

(The Reporter)

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