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Oromo Federalist Democratic Movement

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Title: Oromo Federalist Democratic Movement  
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Subject: Ethiopia, Ethiopian parliamentary election, 2005, Dembidolo, Political parties in Ethiopia, Ethiopian general election, 2010
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Oromo Federalist Democratic Movement

This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of

The Oromo Federalist Democratic Movement (Amharic: የኦሮሞ ፌደራሊስት ዴሞክራቲክ ንቅናቄ, Oromo: Warraaqsa Federaalistii Uummata Oromoo, OFDM) is a political party in Ethiopia, created to further the interests of the Oromo people. At the last legislative elections, on 15 May 2005, the party won 11 seats, all from the Oromia Region. The party Whip is Mesfin Nemera Deriesa from the Mirab Welega Zone.[1] The Chairman is Bulcha Demeksa.

In the August 2005 Regional assembly elections, the party won 10 out of 537 seats in the Oromia Region.[2] Bulcha Demeksa, announced in mid-April that his party would boycott the second round of voting in the 2008 Ethiopian local elections, joining a number of other opposition parties.[3] Despite this, the OFDM picked up one seat in the 116 towns which held elections for their administrative councils.[4]

Recent developments

The OFDM recently joined forces with other Ethiopian opposition groups to form Medrek, otherwise known as the Forum for Democratic Dialogue. Other members of Medrek include the United Ethiopian Democratic Forces led by Beyene Petros, the ARENA party, former president Negasso Gidada, and former Minister of Defense Siye Abraha. In June 2008, the OFDM accused the Ethiopian government of ignoring the ethnic conflict in western Ethiopia which allegedly killed 400 Oromos.[5] The OFDM called it a massacre and blamed the government as being at least "an accomplice." [6]

OFDM Secretary General Bekele Jirata was arrested 13 January 2009, along with at least 14 other ethnic Oromo for alleged ties to the outlawed Oromo Liberation Front and a previously unknown armed group, Kawerj, connections which were denied by the OFDM.[7] He was released 4 February 2009 on bail. No date has been set for his trial.[8]


  1. ^ Ethiopian House of Peoples' Representatives Website
  2. ^ African Elections Database
  3. ^ "Ethiopia’s local elections marred by opposition boycott" Sudan Times website, published 21 April 2008 (accessed 1 June 2008)
  4. ^ "The National Electoral Board of Ethiopia Official Result of the Local and By-Elections Held on April 13 and April 20, 2008", Walta Information Center, May 2008 (accessed 17 March 2009)
  5. ^ Ethiopia opposition calls for probe into "massacre"
  6. ^ OFDM Press Release: The Massacre of May, 2008, Jimma Times 21 June 2008
  7. ^ "Ethiopia: Arbitrary detention/torture or other ill-treatment" Amnesty International Report AFR 25/012/2008, 14 November 2008 (accessed 13 May 2009)
  8. ^ "OFDM leader Bekele Jirata released on bail", Jimma Times 4 February 2009 (accessed 9 March 2009)

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