Saturday, September 08, 2012

Ethiopia Faces Dangers but Also Opportunities in Meles Succession

(Sept 08, 2012, TIME)--Nibret Gelese spent years saving up to move from his home town Mekele, in the north of Ethiopia, and make a newlife in Addis Ababa. “Everyone said it was the place to be, the place to get rich,” he tells TIME shutting the rusty door to his small phone shop.

“Now I’m not sure what to expect, everyone is pretty scared about what might happen without Meles.” Nibret’s anxiety over life without Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, who died August 20 from an undisclosed illness after ruling Ethiopia for 21 years, is echoed across the sprawling capital. “Meles was our hero, he kept the bad people in government under control, and developed our county enormously,” says a taxi driver.

Meles had dropped out of medical school to fight in the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), part of the alliance that in 1991 overthrew the communist dictator Mengistu Haile Mariam. Since then, Meles has been praised for his vision of an ‘Ethiopian Renaissance’ and for policies that helped alleviate a great deal of Ethiopia’s poverty. Many fear that progress and stability won’t be sustained without his leadership.

Adding to the uncertainty is the fact that the appointment of a successor to Meles at the head of the rulingparty was recently delayed. Deputy Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn had been appointed acting leader on August 21, but leaders in the Ethiopian People Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) asked for more time to mourn before confirming the succession.

“They should have just appointed Hailemariam straight away,” an official from the opposition Ethiopians Democratic Party (EDP) told TIME, speaking on condition of anonymity. “[The delay] is only increasing fears that there will be damaging disputes between the ruling members as to who should be the next leader. The longer this goes on, the more the country will suffer” Read more from TIME »

Related topics:
What’s Next for Ethiopia? 
Ethiopia: What Might Desalegn's Premiership Bring?   
Challenges for Ethiopia’s new leader 
Ethiopia's post-Meles economy   
Is Hailemariam Desalegn Ethiopia’s new longtime leader or just a placeholder?  

No comments:

Post a Comment