Sunday, September 09, 2012

Ethiopia sees uncertainty rise as new PM yet to be sworn in

(Sept 09, 2012, ADDIS ABABA)--After a week of solemn remembrance for Ethiopia’s late Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, the country is beginning to feel a slight uncertainty as acting Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn has yet to be officially sworn in by the country’s Parliament.

PM Hailemariam desalegn
He was supposed to be sworn in on Thursday, but the ruling Ethiopian People’s Democratic Front (EPRDF) delayed the appointment. According to local reports and party members, the executive council failed to reach a unanimous decision on the election procedures that would have seen Desalegn ascend to the country’s top position.

The result has thrown much uncertainty into the political fray in Ethiopia as the country searches for a new future following Meles’ death. “We just want to move forward and get things back on track,” a shopkeeper in Addis Ababa told The delay has led many to believe there are internal political divisions inside the ruling party and some members believe Desalegn is not the right person to lead the East African country.

This comes despite a August 21 meeting of ministers that endorsed the acting prime minister. But the ruling party’s Tuesday meeting has seen this decision revoked. “Within those who are in a struggle of a common goal, the instalment of leadership is an easy issue as it is simply assigning a comrade who would pay huge sacrifices … and rather the focus should be on our respective duties” a statement from the party read.

It highlights the growing debate over the future of Ethiopia’s political situation, with many calling for dramatic changes to the current status quo of absolute power by the ruling party. Earlier this month, leading Ethiopian political thinker and professor Alemayehu G. Mariam said the time is now for Ethiopia to have “radical improvements” in its social and political climate following the death of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi.

“I say today is the perfect time for all Ethiopians to bury the hatchet of ethnic division, religious sectarianism, regional conflict and human rights violations,” Mariam wrote in an opinion article. “It is the perfect time to shake hands, embrace each other and get our noses to the grindstone to build a new democratic Ethiopia where the rule of law is upheld and human rights and democratic institutions respected.” Read more from bikyamasr »

Related topics:
Ethiopia party divided on Zenawi successor
Challenges for Ethiopia’s new leader
Ethiopia Waits for Swearing-in of Prime Minister 
Ethiopia’s ruling party delays appointment of new premie
Life after Ethiopia's Meles Zenawi-Video report (Al Jazeera)
U.S. aid to Ethiopia helping neither us nor Ethiopians (CNN) 

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