Politicians from Ethiopia's governing Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front coalition have approved the idea of forming a new political party - a plan that has been backed by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.
Mr Abiy said the new Ethiopian Prosperity Party would help break down ethnic divisions and unite the country.
He wants it to become the national driving force to replace the three-decade-old ethnically based coalition.
But one coalition member, the Tigray People's Liberation Front, which dominated the government before Mr Abiy came to power, has refused to join the new party, fearing its influence will be further eroded.
In a tweet the prime minister called the merger a "crucial step in harnessing our energy to work toward a shared vision".