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EDP launches campaign manifesto

The Reporter – The Ethiopian Democratic Party (EDP) published its election manifesto that consists of alternative policies and other ideological points that the party wants to achieve in the upcoming election in order to become a competitor. Its main target is the youth.

The party launched its 30-page manifesto on Wednesday this weekend and will use it throughout the coming campaign and debate period. The manifesto, apart from a detailed description of the party’s alternative, contains three major areas that the party wants to pursue first.

The major areas that the party focuses on are economic, social and political affairs. Though these are the major pillars of the manifesto, there are many issues covered in each part.

If the party assumes power in the upcoming election, the party plans to implement various issues under the economic affair, such as easing the cost of living and inflation. In this regard, the party plans to implement the minimum wage of 1,000 birr for civil servants and 700 birr for pensioners.

Apart from setting a minimum wage for civil servants and pensioners, the party also set a minimum wage for daily laborers and, though it varies from place to place and conditions, the minimum wage for daily laborers should not be less than 60 birr.

Additionally the party also plans to exempt food items from Value Added Tax (VAT) and plans to reduce the 15 percent VAT on items and services, which it said contributes to increasing cost of living, down to 7.5 percent.

The part in the manifesto where it describes economic affairs also gives emphasis on fighting corruption, and in this regard, the party plans to increase the salary and other benefits of employees in the government offices such as customs authority, court, prosecutor, security and immigration, anti corruption authority, road transport, municipalities and so on.

The manifesto proposes not only the increment of salaries, but also a merit-based recruitment process. The party also proposes a very serious law that will severely punish those individuals who violate the laws and engage in corruption.

In the area where the manifesto describes social affairs, it covers a range of matters that revolve around issues such as the quality of education and plans to change the structure of the current education system into the previous one.

In this category, the manifesto also covers issues related to providing health service, promoting good governance, provision of housing and protecting both natural resources and the environment.

The last part of the manifesto describes the political affairs and the stand of the party, and in this regard, the manifesto proposes that constitutional amendments that it says will improve the nation’s unity and economic growth and also present its alternative policy that focuses on foreign policy.