27 April 2018

Ethiopia to Adopt Legislation to Put Term Limits On Prime Minister Position

Addis Ababa — Ethiopia is to legislate a two five year term limit for the prime ministerial position, new Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed was quoted as saying on Friday.

Speaking to an audience of political and civil leaders in Hawassa city, capital of Ethiopia's Southern regional state, Ahmed said legislation is underway to amend the Ethiopian constitution to adopt the two term limit on PM position, reported state media outlet Ethiopia News Agency (ENA).

Ahmed told the audience the term limit is needed to ensure smooth power transfer, strengthen the democratic system and fight corruption.

Ethiopia follows a parliamentary political system with the position of PM being more powerful than the President who has largely ceremonial powers.

The Ethiopian constitution has a two term limit on the President's office, but presently allows an indefinite period of time for a Prime Minister to stay in office.

Ahmed, 41, was sworn in as Prime Minister before Ethiopian parliament on April 2, replacing Hailemariam Desalegn, amid anti-government protests and strikes in various parts of Ethiopia.

Persistent protests over allegations of economic and political marginalization since 2016 in Amhara and Oromia regional states which together account for about 65 percent of Ethiopia's estimated population of 100 million had caused fears about the stability of one of Africa's star economies.

Many Ethiopians hope Ahmed will bring about political and economic changes as the country moves closer to a general election in May 2020.


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