Ethiopia elects first ethnic Oromo Prime Minister
Mar 28th 2018 (Nyamilepedia) – Ethiopia has elected, for the first time in history, its first ethnic Oromo Prime Minister. This came several weeks after the surprise resignation of Hailemariam Desalegn as the leader of the Ethiopian coalition and as the Prime Minister of the country, saying his decision was meant to help the ruling party’s effort to reform and address public grievances, without elaborating.
After several days of deliberations and closed-door meetings, the Council of the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) on Tuesday elected Abiy Ahmed, a 41 ethnic Oromo politician, as the coalition’s next leader, paving the way for him to become Ethiopia’s next and first ethnic Oromo Prime Minister.
Abiy Ahmed, a former lieutenant colonel and intelligence officer and the leader of the Oromo People’s Democratic Organisation (OPDO), secured 108 votes of the total 175 council members in a bid to replace the outgoing party chairman and former Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn.
Ethiopia, venue of the South Sudan peace talks, will have its first ever Oromo Prime Minister for the first time in its history.
South Sudan government last week called for the change of the talks venue citing political uncertainty after the surprise resignation of Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn as both the leader of the Ethiopian Coalition (EPRDF) and the Prime minister of Ethiopia.
Ahmed now inherits a deeply fractured party and country. His popular legitimacy comes from the reforms his party – the OPDO – set in motion in Oromia. Many now hope that the young leader will take some of the lessons from Oromia and OPDO’s reform agenda to the national office. Beside this are the regional issues affecting the East African countries including the South Sudan’s civil war.