Friday, February 15, 2013

Long live the king: Ethiopia’s new leadership is practising hero-worship

(Feb 15, 2013, The Economist)--DURING his two decades running Ethiopia, Meles Zenawi almost single-handedly engineered its rise from lost cause to model pupil. Even his enemies admit he was both popular and competent. Often working around the clock, he could make complex policy choices and then explain them to ordinary people.  

Which way to the mausoleum?
He planned meticulously for everything—from road building to oppressing the opposition—except, that is, for his own demise. It came six months ago on August 20th, following illness at the age of 57, and left the state reeling.

Meles, as he is known, had grabbed so much power that many feared his death would spark political chaos and an economic downturn. He alone had the trust of the soldiers, the financiers, the Ethiopian people and the West.

But the transition to a new prime minister, Hailemariam Desalegn, has gone smoothly. The streets of Addis Ababa, the capital, have seen no unrest and the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) suffered no defections.

A few audible grumbles were swiftly silenced. Rioting Muslims were beaten back. A minister was fired as were four regional officials in events that may or may not be related to the leadership change. Jockeying among the elite has been kept behind firmly closed doors. In public it espouses business as usual. Read more from The Economist »

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The late PM was for sure a dynamic leader who loved his country. He was a dictator and perfectionist.He had too much power, made every decision. He did never thought that his buddies would make a good job, except him. As a matter of fact, luck was at his side most of his decision and action worked. He was secretive guy too. No one knew what really was in his mind regarding the future of Ethiopia. For his TPLF buddies it was good he had gone. we ordinary Ethiopians will miss him.

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