Ethiopian Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed is re-elected as Chairman of the ruling Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), winning 176 votes out of the total 177 secret ballots casted at the 11th congress of the front.
Accordingly, Dr. Abiy Ahmed will lead the ruling party and the nation as Prime Minister until the next congress of the front.
The ruling party has been holding it congress this week in Southern city of Hawassa. Some 2000 people are believed to have attended, 1000 of them voting members.
The 11th congress of the EPRDF also re-elected Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonnen as Deputy Chairperson of the front.
Demeke won 149 votes for the post while the Deberetsion Gebremichael won 15 votes for the same post out of 177 total ballots casted.
EPRDF’s Council has 180 members comprising of 45 members each from the four member parties that make up the ruling party: the Oromo Democratic Party (ODP), the Amhara Democratic Party (ADP), the Southern Ethiopian People’s Democratic Movement (SEPDM), and the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).
No information was released why three voting members did not cast ballots.
The outcome has been expected as the ADP and ODP are in a strong alliance since the last time the party voted for a leader. The once dominant TPLF had its fortune decline during this time. It appears now out of step with the other three parties and increasingly irrelevant in Ethiopian politics.
Each of the member parties have been holding their respective general meetings in the last few weeks. The four parties went through various levels of reform and change of guiding philosphy as well as personnel, except perhaps the TPLF. Two of the member parties, ADP and ODP, changed names as well as their logo – signaling a stong break with the past.
Some observers are becoming concerned whether the ruling party will stand strong as the different member parties have come up with varying ideologies after Oromo and Amhara political parties changed their logo and names as well as shifted away from the revolutionary demcracy. The TPLF on the hand remains stuck with its platform of revolutionary democracy.