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.
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

Turkey: No Ransom Paid for Release of Hostages Held by IS Militants

President Erdogan hails release of hostages as diplomatic success but declines to be drawn on whether their release freed Ankara's hand to take more active stance against insurgents More

Audio Sierra Leone Ends Ebola Lockdown

Health ministry says it has reached 75 percent of its target of visiting 1.5 million homes to locate infected, educate population about virus More

US Pivot to Asia Demands Delicate Balancing Act

As the tumult in the Middle East distracts Obama, shifting American focus eastward appears threatened 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.
Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Towni
X
Deborah Block
September 21, 2014 2:12 PM
A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Town

A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Difficult Tactical Battle Ahead Against IS Militants in Syria

The U.S. president has ordered the military to intensify its fight against the Islamic State, including in Syria. But how does the military conduct air strikes in a country that is not a U.S. ally? VOA correspondent Carla Babb reports from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Alibaba Shares Soar in First Day of Trading

China's biggest online retailer hit the market Friday -- with its share price soaring on the New York Stock Exchange. The shares were priced at $68, but trading stalled at the opening, as sellers held onto their shares, waiting for buyers to bid up the price. More on the world's biggest initial public offering from VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York.
Video

Video Obama Goes to UN With Islamic State, Ebola on Agenda

President Obama goes to the United Nations General Assembly to rally nations to support a coalition against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. He also will look for nations to back his plan to fight the Ebola virus in West Africa. As VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports, Obama’s efforts reflect new moves by the U.S. administration to take a leading role in addressing world crises.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid