Ethiopia’s ‘Gorbachev’ canvasses support for new government


New Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed, to be ratified soon

By John Eche


Former prime minister, Hailemariam Desalegn, the unusual African political leader and Gorbachev-type, who voluntarily gave up power two months ago to help Ethiopia forge a new course, has called for support for the new leader, Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed.

Desalegn, who was also the former chairperson of the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), Hailemariam Desalegn, also congratulated the EPRDF council on the decision to retain Demeke Mekonnen as Deputy Chairperson.

With these developments, members of parliament are expected to soon convene to formally ratify Ahmed’s appointment.

Hailemariam had replaced former Prime Minister and strongman, Meles Zenawi who had led the nation after its split with Eritrea in 1991 until his death in 2012.

He was elected Chairperson of the ruling party in September 2012 and re-elected in 2014.

In resigning his positions as EPRDF chaiperson and prime minister, Desalegn had stated that it was in order to ‘facilitate reforms needed for sustainable peace and democracy’ in the Horn of Africa nation that equally serves as headquarters of the African Union, AU.

Ahmed would be the first ethnic Oromo to serve as leader of the nation and the move, analysts say, is meant to reassure the quite significant Oromo segment of the population, who are the single most populated bloc in Africa’s second most populous nation.


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