Breaking: Dr. Abiy Ahmed elected new chairman of EPRDF with Demeke Mekonnen as deputy

Addis Standard staffs

Addis Abeba, March 27/2018 – The just concluded meeting by the Council of Ethiopia’s ruling party, EPRDF, elected Dr. Abiy Ahmed Aliy, chairman of the OPDO, as EPRDF’s new chairman. The council has not decided on who will be the deputy.

If the party sticks to its tradition, which is more likely than not, Dr. Abiy will be recommended by the council and be approved by the parliament to become Ethiopia’s next Prime Minister.

The election came three weeks after the executive committee of the 36 powerful bloc of the party began its meeting on March 11  which was then followed by the council’s meeting which began on March 20 and ended today.

EPRDF’s Council has 180 members comprised of 45 members each from the four major parties that make up the ruling party: the Oromo Peoples’ Democratic Organization (OPDO), the Amhara National Democratic Movement (ANDM), the Southern Ethiopian People’s Democratic Movement (SEPDM), and the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).

Dr. Abiy, 42, has served the national defense force with a rank of Lieutenant Colonel and was instrumental in establishing the Ethiopian Information Network Security Agency (INSA). He was also a one time minister of Science & Technology.

Dr. Abiy was recently elected as chairman of the OPDO by the 81 member of the party’s Central Committee, replacing Lemma Megerssa, president of the Oromia regional state who held the positions of both the chairman of OPDO & President of Oromia region.  His election as the new chairman of the OPDO placed him as the favorite front-runner among the major contenders for the premiership.

EPRDF began the search for a new chairman, and by default a new prime minister, following the February 15 resignation of Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn from his role as both Prime Minister and Chairman of Ethiopia’s ruling party, as well as his position as chairman of his own party, the Southern Ethiopian People’s Democratic Movement (SEPDM). The executive committee of both the EPRDF and SEPDM have quickly accepted the resignation, leaving the final and binding decision to the members of Council, which also accepted the resignation. AS

ED’s Note: Exclusive interviews secured by Addis Standard from multiple sources show that both the executive’s and the council’s meetings have undergone through several bruising closed door sessions. Addis Standard will publish a summary of major events from inside both meetings and how these events will potentially shape the time in office of Dr. Abiy Ahmed as the likely Prime Minister of Ethiopia.

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