News / Africa

Former U.S. Diplomat Lauds Selection of Ethiopia’s New Ruling Party Leader

Ethiopian Acting Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn.  Ethiopian Acting Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn.
x
Ethiopian Acting Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn.
Ethiopian Acting Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn.
TEXT SIZE - +
Ashenafi Abedje
Ethiopia’s ruling party has elected acting Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn as its new chairman. The vote by the Ethiopian Peoples' Revolutionary Democratic Front puts Hailemariam in line to become the next Prime Minister. 

David Shinn, former U.S. Ambassador to Ethiopia, said he is not surprised by Hailemariam’s elevation to the party’s top spot.

“I think it was almost predictable in that Hailemariam was being groomed by Prime Minister Meles to succeed him. I think a lot of thought has gone into this selection,” he said.

Shinn said all of the speculation, particularly in the Diaspora, that Meles will be followed by another Tigrayan, was “widely off the mark.”

The former diplomat, who currently serves as Adjunct Professor of International Affairs at the George Washington University, explained what he sees as the importance of the EPRDF Council’s decision.

“I think it’s trying to acknowledge that the EPRDF must broaden its base, reach out more widely to different ethnic groups, and that the Tigrayan leadership, which in the past has controlled so many of the key slots, has to share more power,” he said.

“After all,” Shinn noted, “Tigrayans constitute only 6.1 percent of the population.

The former diplomat said with the new hierarchy, there will likely be more consultation within the EPRDF, not necessarily the TPLF, the dominant party in the ruling coalition.

“Someone who is as relatively new to the position as he (Hailemariam) is cannot be expected to have the kind of authority Meles had,” said Shinn.  “Hailemariam will have to rely more on advice from other members of the EPRDF for key decisions.”

With the change in leadership lead to possible policy changes? Ambassador Shinn doubts there will be significant policy departures.

“There will inevitably be nuanced changes. Whether there will be really significant changes, it is very difficult to predict,” he said. “I’d hope in the government’s approach to the pace of democratization, opening of the political process and handling of human rights issues, that there will be significant change.”

Shinn said whether or not the emerging leadership undertakes such changes will determine how the West will view the new government. For now, he said, there’s a long way to go in improving those aspects of Ethiopian policy.

Listen to interview w/ Ambassador David Shinn
Listen to interview w/ Ambassador David Shinni
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X

You May Like

Multimedia Relatives of South Korean Ferry Victims Fire at Authorities

46 people are confirmed dead, but some 250 remain trapped inside sunken ferry More

War Legacy Haunts Vietnam, US Relations

$84 million project aims to clean up soil contaminated by Agent Orange More

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments page of 2
 Previous    
by: FETEH from: SWITZERLAND
September 17, 2012 4:07 PM
With great respect i agree with ur comment but i dont know why you have ignored the recent rush by the TPLF generals to promoto about 37 high military officials before the rulling party selects PM Hailemariam. in the absences of a primier where among 34 of them are tigryans which was a signal to the ethiopian people that still there is too much to go to bring a power share despite TPLF alowing the two top postions please lets not forget that all the millitary and security are still complitly controlled under TPLF knowing that will HD have the path of his own I doubt and they repeatedly mentioned to continue the legacy of the late PM Melese. They told us there won't be any change (I mean, policy,...). The other question is, who really has the real power? I think the ball is under the hands of TPLF who had controlled the military and the security ...., not..... Anyway, let's wait and see. PEACE!!


by: Truth-Teller from: Addis Ababa
September 17, 2012 3:21 PM
I wish Mr. Shinn stop telling us what the EPRDF regime is thinking, and start telling us - what the U.S. government would do to promote democracy, inclusive political party system, Human Rights and etc. He can answer if and when the U.S. would stop subsidizing the terrorist organization in Ethiopia. It didn’t work in Egypt, so why is the U.S. think it will work in Ethiopia???? … can Mr. Shinn answer why the U.S makes the same mistake and not learn from the past?

I know the U.S. policy is not to force democracy on to other society. Neither should it be helping undemocratically elected regimes. The sad part about US-Ethiopia relation is that U.S. is as much despised as in the Arab world. The funny part is that the U.S. policy maker and administration could NOT figure out why they're despised so much!! .... I don't know if I can make this easier for U.S. law makers to understand, but I will try .... STOP SUPPORTING THEIR TORTURER REGIME!! ... and, see if that makes a difference. If there's a regime that's undemocratically elected, the U.S. should STOP subsidizing the regime!

In Response

by: Truth-Teller from: Addis Ababa
September 18, 2012 3:50 PM
One important fact to keep in mind - that you're not even denying you're a dictator or dictator-lover!! ... And, history tells us, dictators won't last long (case be point to Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Syria,...). "...Ethiopians will keep moving forward and build the nation for better tomorrow..." we can agree on that if you're referring to ALL Ethiopians - regardless of their political and religious background - and, not communists like yourself! ... United States will never stand with commies and we'll make sure of that!!

In Response

by: Mike from: Oregon
September 18, 2012 1:22 AM
I think you are off line and totally wrong by your remarks. With our without you and your likes, Ethiopians will keep moving forward and build the nation for better tomorrow. Thus I know people like you will never be happy no matter what. Go figures!

In Response

by: anti extrimism from: USA
September 17, 2012 9:04 PM
Hi "Feteh", the US government did not, and is not supporting the regime. the US government is giving aid for poor ethiopians throu the ethiopian gov`t. if you do not want to see new schools, hospitals, roads etc. untill their is a regime change, you should have stayed in ethiopia to make a difference. but it is not fair to ask the US government to stop its support for poor ethiopians while you are living a good life abroad. may be your immediate families do not need help, but look the situation macroscopically.

Comments page of 2
 Previous    

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid