Former U.S. diplomat lauds selection of Ethiopia’s new EPRDF chairperson
Addis Ababa, September 18 (WIC) –The Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) has elected acting Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn as its new chairman. The vote by the EPRDF puts Hailemariam in line to become the next Prime Minister.
David Shinn, former U.S. Ambassador to Ethiopia, said he is not surprised by Hailemariam’s elevation to the party’s top spot.
“I think it was almost predictable in that Hailemariam was being groomed by Prime Minister Meles to succeed him. I think a lot of thought has gone into this selection,” he said.
Shinn said all of the speculation, particularly in the Diaspora, that Meles will be followed by another Tigrayan, was “widely off the mark.”
The former diplomat, who currently serves as Adjunct Professor of International Affairs at the George Washington University, explained what he sees as the importance of the EPRDF Council’s decision.
The former diplomat said with the new hierarchy, there will likely be more consultation within the EPRDF.
“Someone who is as relatively new to the position as he (Hailemariam) is cannot be expected to have the kind of authority Meles had,” said Shinn. “Hailemariam will have to rely more on advice from other members of the EPRDF for key decisions.”
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