Journalist- Do you support Amhara independence?
Miky-Not at all. We built this country with our bone and blood. That will never happen.
Journalist:- And what do you see as the biggest threat to Amhara? Oromo, Tigray, or the other parties in Amhara itself?
Miky- Politically speaking, no one is a threat to us. In fact, you should know that we are a majority in this country. No one can then be a threat to us. We currently have a strained relationship with Tigray. However, that’s only between the political elites. There is no problem with people to people r/ship. TPLF is the main problem between the two people. The political elites from the oromo side have also been running a false and distortive narrative about our history and the state for a while. These few elites want to destroy anything that they think it belongs to Amhara. We don’t allow that to happen anyway.
Journalist- Are there frequent clashes with qerro?
Miky-No, there is no physical clash. It is just a clash between the elites, mainly to grasp as much power as possible and to control the political and economic institutions. The clash is on the discourse level of our politics, history, and the state. But at some point, this may change into physical violence unless we carefully deal with it.
Journalist- I have heard that fano is militarizing, is this true?
Miky-This is not true. Having a gun is part and parcel of the Amhara culture. You don’t even marry before having a gun. So in every household, you can find a gun. Besides, since the past three years, the government has not been able to provide even the minimum security and safety protection for people. Crime has been rising. Due to this, an increasing number of people are buying guns for safety reasons. In addition, more and more people openly carry their guns even in cities, which was not that usual before. This is, in fact, happening in Addis Ababa, Oromia, Tigray and elsewhere in the country. There is no special militarization in Amhara region then. It is just mere propaganda.
Journalist-whar you personally hoping for in these elections and what are you aspiring for?
Miky- I am not very much eager for this election. I would have loved to see constitutional amendments, population census, and election reform, before the election itself. My aspiration is to see the Amhara’s play a great role in democratizing this country. We sacrificed a lot to build this great nation, but the past 40 years, there has been a systematic attack on and sidelining of the Amhara people from the political and economic power. The political and economic institutions built for the last 27 years are intended to harm the people of Amhara. Partly, that was our own mistake. We let the ultra ethino-nationalists’ free ride in this country. I will then work to dismantle these discriminatory institutions and to replace it with more progressive, inclusive, and genuine institutions that serve everyone equally.
Journalist- So will you be campaigning on the run up to the election?
Miky- I am an independent opinion leader, but I will campaign for personalities and political organizations that show commitment and willingness to fight for our main agendas. Changing the constitution, reforming the electoral law, restructuring the federalism and redrawing the boundaries among regions, reforming and replacing the discriminatory political and economic institutions with a new one, returning the annexed Amhara lands, gaining political power representative of our majority number, making Amharic the working language for every region in Ethiopia, and economic justice are some of the main issues that politicians need to carry to get my support.
Journalist- Your overall thoughts about the election both at the national level and in Amhara region?
Miky- I believe that the election will be held as planned since it is in the interest of the ruling party and Pm Abiy. One of the reasons for this is Pm Abiy do not want to stick with the current EPRDF because the party has lost a great deal of credibility and suffering from a legitimacy crisis. However, I do not see any enabling environment to conduct a free and fair election. I don’t think postponing the election for some time would be a solution either, except making it a time bomb. Abiy knows that postponing the election will erode his legitimacy further. He will then take the risk and hold the election as planned even if there is great uncertainty about the outcome. Of course, he may become Ethiopia’s David Cameron: calling an election with confidence and then lose it. David Cameroon was confident enough he would win the Bri-exit election, wasn’t he?
Journalist- I hope Abiy doesn’t go the same way as David Cameron! It’s a bit of a disaster over here