Fear of a Power Vacuum as Ethiopia Delays Swearing in New PM

Hailemariam Desalegne
Desalegne’s swearing in was delayed twice

Ethiopian opposition parties have expressed concern over delays in swearing in the new Prime Minister, saying this will create a power vacuum.

Ethiopian Democratic Party (EDP), one of Ethiopia’s strongest opposition parties, said it was concerned at the delays to replace the late Prime Minister to replace the late Meles Zenawi.

“Since Meles’s death the country is led by the acting prime minister, this situation is serious and the country is not fully functional,” the party said.

The party indicated that delays in announcing the country’s prime minister will create a power vacuum.

Fears of a power vacuum have been expressed by many in the Horn of Africa country following Meles’s death.

However, the ruling party – Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) – says it is not concerned about fears of a power vacuum.

EPRDF held an extraordinary session, which ended late Tuesday evening, but the appointment of the party’s chairman was postponed to next week.

The party’s meeting was expected to elect the party’s chairman, to replace the late Meles as head of the party.

Hailemariam Desalegn, the acting Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister is expected to lead both the country and party, but his swearing in has been postponed several times.

As it stands, it is not yet clear if Desalegn will be sworn in before the next ruling party.