Hailemariam Desalegn Sworn in as PM

Ethiopia's new leader, Hailemariam Desalegn, has been sworn in after the death of former Prime Minister Meles Zenawi in August. (Photo: Ethiopia’s new Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, left, takes the oath of office on Friday, September 21, 2012 / AFP)

Latest:
Click here to watch video of the swearing in ceremony (Walta)
Ethiopia’s Hailemariam Desalegn sworn in as prime minister (BBC)
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Amid cautious hopes for change, Ethiopia swears in new prime minister (AP)

VOA News

Posted September 21st, 2012

Ethiopia’s parliament has sworn in Hailemariam Desalegn as the country’s new leader.

Mr. Hailemariam replaces longtime Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, who died of an undisclosed illness last month at the age of 57.

The French News Agency quotes Mr. Hailemariam as pledging to continue Mr. Meles’ legacy without any changes.

Mr. Hailemariam was a close ally of the former leader and has previously served as minister of foreign affairs and deputy prime minister. Many say the 47-year-old prime minister was handpicked for the position by Mr. Meles who was planning to step down after the 2015 election.

Mr. Hailemariam will be Ethiopia’s first new leader since 1991, when the guerilla movement TPLF overthrew the military junta of Mengistu Hailemariam.

Former U.S. Diplomat Lauds Selection of Ethiopia’s New Ruling Party Leader (VOA News)


Ethiopia’s ruling party confirmed acting Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn as the successor to the late Prime Minister Meles Zenawi. (Photo: World Economic Forum on Africa / WEF)

By KIRUBEL TADESSE, Associated Press

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) — Ethiopia’s ruling party on Saturday named as its leader acting Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, who took over after the death last month of longtime leader Meles Zenawi, an official said at the end of a congress of party bosses.

As chairman of the Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front, or EPRDF, Hailemariam, 47, will almost certainly be confirmed as the country’s prime minister in an upcoming official ceremony. Bereket Simon, Ethiopia’s communications minister, said Hailemariam would be sworn in soon. It remains unclear exactly when, but Bereket said this might happen early next month. “Since the party holds an overwhelming majority the party’s chair is automatically the country’s prime minister,” Bereket said. “So Hailemariam will be the country’s new prime minister.”

Read more.

Related:
Ethiopia acting PM Hailemariam Desalegn heads coalition (BBC)
Ethiopian Ruling Party Confirms Hailemariam as Meles’s Successor (Bloomberg)

Ethiopians Will Soon Learn New PM’s Identity (VOA News)
Marthe Van Der Wolf

September 14, 2012

ADDIS ABABA — Ethiopians will soon learn the identity of their new prime minister. The ruling party, the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), is having a council meeting on Friday and Saturday in Addis Ababa.

The council, the highest organ of the EPRDF after the general assembly, will decide who the new chairperson of the party will be. The chairperson will most likely become the new leader of the East African country.

Deputy Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn was supposed to be sworn in right after the death of former Prime Minister Meles Zenawi last month. It is still believed that the council will choose Hailemariam as the chairperson, but local newspapers report that that the EPRDF will appoint three deputy prime ministers.

Dr. Negaso Gidada, the former Ethiopian president who was part of drafting the Ethiopian constitution, is currently an opposition leader and says that having three deputies would be unconstitutional.

“You can refer to article 75 of the constitution which speaks about DPM. Whatever the case, the constitution speaks of only one DPM, not two or three more. If it is true, it means the EPRDF is continuing its violation of the constitution and that it’s not leading the country according to the constitution,” he said.

Negaso feels the EPRDF was already in violation of the constitution by delaying the appointment of the deputy prime minister.

But the delay might also explain Ethiopia’s changing power politics says veteran political scientist Medhane Tadesse.

“There will be a return to a collective kind of leadership. Which means that decision making in Ethiopia is probably now back to the collective mode,” said Medhane. “Another major change in Ethiopia after Meles will be the distribution of power so probably also to compensate for the lost of Meles. I think its imperative that they distribute power and delegate it to as many people as possible. In a way this is more useful and visible in the Ethiopian context and probably also the right thing to do.”

EPRDF council members chose not to comment before the meeting was over. A statement on the newly elected chairman is expected to be released this weekend.

Ethiopia ruling party to choose Meles successor (AFP)