2 April 2018

Ethiopia: New PM Ahmed Makes 'Stunning' Statements in First Speech

Photo: African Argument
Abiy Ahmed is set to become the Oromo Prime Minister of the EPRDF’s 27-year rule.
analysis

The national Parliament is gearing up to swear in Dr. Abiy Ahmed as the next PM of the country. We'll bring you the latest & a rare analysis on what happened behind closed doors before Dr. Abiy's election & how that could shape his premiership.

As the national parliament began its session to swear in Dr. Abiy Ahmed, House speaker Abadulla Gemeda opened the session announcing the presence of 478 MPS out of the 546 parliamentarians. The parliament seats are all controlled by the ruling #EPRDF.

Dr. Abiy Ahmed is officially sworn in as Ethiopia's Prime minister by the national parliament.

He began his speech by thanking the outgoing PM Hailemariam Desalegn for resigning from his position to become "part of the solution."

Ahmed paid tribute to Ethiopia's nations and nationalities who have sacrificed their lives to keep Ethiopia's independence. "When we live, we are Ethiopians, when we die, we become Ethiopia. Ethiopia's belongs to all of us."

He says the government should respect the rule of law, but it is also its responsibility to maintain the rule of law. Ethiopians would want not only the presence of rule of law, but also justice.

Ahmed expressed his readiness to negotiate with the government in # Eritrea to solve the differences between the two states as part of his plan to stabilize the horn of Africa region. He also promised to crackdown on rampant corruption in # Ethiopia.

Ahmed also highlighted improving the quality of education by adopting sound policies would be his government's prime agenda.

In a stunning departure from past administrations, Dr. Abiy Ahmed called on exiled Ethiopians to return home. "We will welcome you home," he said, "the coming season in Ethiopia is a season of peace and reconciliation."

The new prime minister said he apologizes from "my heart" for thousands of civilian victims of state crackdown as well as members of the security who have been killed during recent crisis that gripped the nation.

In another stunning departure from previous leaders, before finishing his speech Dr. Abiy Ahmed paid a moving tribute to his late mother who he said had raised him in the midst of ardent poverty. He also paid tribute to his wife and mother of three kids Zinash Tayachew.

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