Ethiopia PM appoints two more deputies

Ethiopia Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn.   FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Ethiopian PM Hailemariam Desalegn has appointed two more deputy prime ministers in his government.

During a short ceremonial session Thursday parliament, Mr Hailemariam appointed Mr Muktar Kedir and Mr Debretsion Gebremichael, raising the number of his deputies to three.

The three deputies represent Oromo, Amhara and Tigre regions.

Mr Hailemariam himself represents the South region.

The arrangement is aimed at sharing power and making up for the lack of experience among the key players.

Mr Muktar represents the ethnic Oromo in the coalition of the ruling party Ethiopian People Democratic Front (EPRDF).

Mr Debretsion is from Tigray group, but is known for his behind-the-scenes role in the country's security apparatus.

He has been co-chairing the national security and intelligence committee in the past years.

Mr Hailemariam also appointed a new Foreign minister, Dr Tewodros Adhanom.

Mr Tewodros is a former Health minister and a popular figure in the government.

Two other ministers, for Trade and Civil Service, were also appointed by Mr Hailemariam.

Party sources told the Africa Review the appointment of new ministers was also aimed at easing the competition for power in the ruling party.

Mr Hailemariam, a less known politician from the Wolyta community, came to power after the death of Meles Zenawi on August 20.

The former university lecturer lacks experience and influence on the military and security apparatus, which evolved from the 17 years' armed struggle against the regime of Mengistu Hailemariam.

It is the first time in Ethiopia's recent history to have three deputy prime ministers.

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