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Ethiopia’s new PM takes power

Ethiopia’s new PM takes power
Ethiopia’s new Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn took the oath of office on Friday, vowing to maintain the legacy of long-time ruler Meles Zenawi who died last month.

Hailemariam, 47, was elected last week as the chairman of the ruling coalition Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), which holds an overwhelming majority in parliament. ‘With the decision of the EPRDF and the parliament, I am very happy to take the responsibility of being prime minister,’ he said, speaking after taking the oath with his hand on the bible.

A close ally of Meles as deputy prime minister and foreign minister since 2010, Hailemariam pledged to continue in the footsteps of Meles who ruled the country for over two decades.

‘We brought peace, democracy and development to the country,’ he said.

‘Meles considered himself as a son of the people,’ he added, promising to continue ‘Meles’s legacy without any change.’ Some analysts have argued that Hailemariam will be handicapped by his relatively young age, limited experience and the fact he was not part of the still powerful core of ex-rebels who seized power in 1991.


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