By Tesfa-Alem Tekle
September 22, 2012 (ADDIS ABABA) - Former deputy prime minister and minister of foreign affairs, Hailemariam Desalegn, who was elected as chairman of the ruling party last week was sworn in as Ethiopia’s new prime minister on Friday.
- Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, pictured on August 17.2012 (AFP)
Desalegn has been standing in for Meles Zenawi, who died in August.
The federal parliament, of which the ruling Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) controls 547 of the 549 seats, unanimously endorsed his appointment in an emergency parliamentary session.
Education minister, Demeke Mekonnen, who is also EPRDF?s new deputy chairperson, was sworn in as deputy prime minister. He will also continue to serving as minister of education.
After taking the oath, Desalegn promised to serve his country faithfully.
He vowed to follow in the footsteps of the late Zenawi and to realise his vision; enhancing the democracy, peace and development of the country. He also hailed Zenawi?s firm leadership.
He also gave assurances that Ethiopia will continue to play a significant role in bringing peace and security in the volatile east African region particularly in Somalia, Sudan and South Sudan.
He added that Ethiopia’s contributions towards peacekeeping missions will similarly continue.
47-year old Desalegn who has second degrees in both Water Engineering and Management Science, served as president of a government university before he assumed position as deputy head then head of the South Ethiopian Nations, Nationalities and Peoples State then acted as Zenawi’s advisor.