Hailemariam Desalegn, Confirmed as Ethiopia’s New Prime Minister

Hailemariam Desalegn
Hailemariam Desalegn, Ethiopia’s new PM

Ethiopia’s ruling party has confirmed Hailemariam Desalegn as late Prime Minister Meles Zenawi’s successor after a two day meeting over the weekend.

The Ethiopian Peoples Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) also chose Demeke Mekonen as Desalegn’s deputy.

Desalegne who was also the Foreign Affairs minister since 2010 had been acting Prime Minister following Meles’ death on August 20, 2012.

He is now the new chairperson of the ruling party. His deputy Mekonnen was Education minister.

The two are expected to be sworn in when the new session of the Ethiopian parliament re-opens for the New Year.

One of Desalegne’s first tasks would be to appoint a new Foreign Affairs minister.

He became the first leader of the ruling party who does not have a military background.

Meles had been the party chairman and head of government since 1991 when it came into power.

EPRDF controls 545 of the 547 seats in parliament.