Talk to Al Jazeera – Hailemariam Desalegn: Democracy ‘not only an election’

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Business is booming in Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital. There is construction almost everywhere, a symbol of Ethiopia’s impressive economic growth over the past decade.
Gone are the days of famine and grinding poverty, the government story goes. This is Ethiopia 2015, which they say, is on course to becoming a middle-income country by 2025.
To add to this remarkably rosy picture, Ethiopia’s 90 million citizens are part of a healthy, multi-party democracy that holds elections every five years, the government says.
But not everyone agrees with this inspirational story of growth and democracy in what remains one of the poorest countries in Africa.
They ask why, if everything is so good at home, are thousands of Ethiopians among the tidal wave of desperate people who make the perilous journey across the Mediterranean in search of freedom and jobs.
The government has been deemed one of the most heavily censored countries in the world, and has been accused of mercilessly stifling political opposition and civil liberties, and of imprisoning those who do not toe the line. Its critics say those who do not go to jail, are intimidated into voting for the ruling party.
Ahead of Ethipia’s May 24 parliamentary elections,we travelled to Addis Ababa to ask Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn about his party’s record, the global criticism of his government, and the reports on human rights abuses. And we ask him about the opposition, democracy, Ethiopia’s economy and foreign policy, and so much more, as he talks to Al Jazeera.

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38 COMMENTS

  1. This stupid blind donkey still lying to the world. First of all, you are not a real leader, you are just a puppet of woyanee. I wonder what your fate would be? Cannot wait to see that day

  2. He is a liar

    We the Ethiopian people are suffering everyday. We are divided by tribes within the country. The Oromo people are being treated like second hand citizens. Our young students are dying ( due to the government not wanting the Oromo people to be educated) .

  3. ajzera ha ha ha even the way haw you trying to make it lock like the government is dectotre us sawode government I don't now way he allowed yo to interview hem new your attention

  4. Dubai Aljeezera reporter thinks, Ethiopia has the Indian Caste System ? Better to ask Has Bill Gates African children not allowed to flood Europe for instant Luxurious Life ? 😏

  5. he's an IDIOT , death to him and his TPLF TERRORISTS.
    Hay day will come when he gets murdered as he murdered thousands of Ethiopians. He and his party is all about genocide . He is a big lier and so is his TPLF TERRORIST party.
    so all I say to him is you will reap what you sow.

  6. This man is talking utter bullshit as always. There has NEVER been a democratic electoral system in the HISTORY of Ethiopia. CORRUPTION AND EVILNESS

  7. Just because the PM, Hailemariam, says there is democracy, it doesn't actually mean there is any. Any dictator leader would disapprove of such allegations. However, on the last election the ruling party, EPRDF, has won 100% of the seats in the parliament; it has also monopolized all the institutions including the medias (no clear distinction between the government and the party in the country), kills and detains all oppositions, and has narrowed the political space in a systematic way that no opposition can function. The reality on the ground is just devastating.

  8. The Ethiopian people, your people are saying enough is enough. The only thing the TPLF government left to do isΒ  transfer power. The city residents, the farmers and the majorityΒ  wants change of government.Β  You can't lie your way out of this,

  9. Well done Prime Minister, Hailemariam Desalegn. Al Jazeera is know Arab/Muslim network that seeks to see Christian Ethiopia destroyed from the inside out. There is a reason why this network was banned from the USA! Refuse to be interviewed by these biased station that does nothing but sight "human rights watch." An organization that doesn't have people on the ground in Ethiopia but rather gets it's information from second hand sources outside of the country. They pull our numbers from thin air. They aren't legitimate organization. Shame on you Al Jazerera, thank God you are banned from the USA!

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