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FILE PHOTO: Ethiopia's House of Peoples Representatives in the capital Addis Ababa. /CFP

Ethiopian parliament approves new cabinet members

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The Ethiopian House of Peoples’ Representatives (HoPR), the lower chamber of the parliament, on Thursday approved the appointment of new cabinet members upon the endorsement of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

The newly-introduced cabinet members include Temesgen Tiruneh as the East African country’s deputy prime minister, replacing the departing veteran Ethiopian politician Demeke Mekonnen, who was the country’s deputy prime minister and foreign minister.

Ahmed, while presenting the credentials of Tiruneh, said the former intelligence chief has garnered rich educational and governance experience, supported by several senior positions in the Ethiopian government over the years.

The HoPR also approved Taye Atske Selassie to be the country’s minister of foreign affairs.

Selassie, with a diplomatic career spanning three decades, including as the permanent representative of Ethiopia to the United Nations, served as a foreign policy adviser to the Ethiopian prime minister until his new appointment.

The Ethiopian parliament also approved the appointment of Mekdes Daba as the country’s minister of health, replacing the departing Health Minister Lia Tadesse.

Members of the lower house of the Ethiopian parliament unanimously approved the three incoming ministers upon Ahmed’s endorsement.

FILE PHOTO: Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed speaks at the House of Peoples Representatives in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. /CFP

Ahmed underscored that the appointment of Selassie and Daba, who are not members of the country’s ruling Prosperity Party, is based on their rich experience in their respective sectors.

Tiruneh, on the other hand, was recently appointed as deputy president of the Prosperity Party, following the resignation of Mekonnen.

Ahmed said Tiruneh’s appointment as the deputy prime minister of Ethiopia, Africa’s second-most populous nation, would help strengthen the government’s efforts to realize the socioeconomic development of the country.

The move by the ruling party to appoint Tiruneh, who is a member of the party’s executive committee, as its deputy president is said to be in line with the party’s “leadership succession principle and working system.”

Tiruneh had served as the president of the Amhara region as well as security adviser to the prime minister before his role as the director general of the National Intelligence and Security Service of Ethiopia. Appointment within the ruling party’s senior position is often considered a prerequisite to higher positions in the country’s government structure.

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