Africa and the Middle East

Ethiopia's new Prime Minister - Abiy Ahmed 4-07-18

Source: "New man in charge"  

Ethiopia by ethnicityEthiopia is run by a coalition known as the EPRDF - the Ethiopian People's Evolutionary Democratic Front. This coalition consists of Ethiopia's primary ethnic groups: the Amharas, the Oromos (about 30%) and the dominant Tigrayans (who only make up about 6% of the population). Ethnic tensions have increased and the government has used violence to put down protestors. In March, the EPRDF surprisingly selected a young Oromo named Abiy Ahmed to head up the EPRDF and become Ethiopia's new Prime Minister.

Ahmed is popular now and enjoys wide support for his two big promises - stop government violence against opposition groups and make peace with Ethiopia's long-time enemy, Eritrea.

From the article: "The appointment of Mr Abiy reflects a shift in the balance of power in the EPRDF. His Oromo People’s Democratic Organisation (OPDO) now takes the helm of the coalition, which had been dominated by the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF). The TPLF represents Tigrayans, who form only about 6% of the population, whereas Oromos make up over 30%. Many in the Amhara National Democratic Movement, the coalition’s Amhara wing, also bristled at the TPLF’s power. Its candidate for chairman, Demeke Mekonnen, the deputy prime minister, withdrew at the last minute. Mr Hailemariam’s Southern Ethiopian People’s Democratic Movement also brought Mr Abiy crucial votes.
The new prime minister faces two daunting challenges. The first is to reunite the EPRDF, which has suffered from infighting ever since Meles Zenawi, its first leader, died in 2012. Before the vote, Mr Abiy and his OPDO colleagues were subjected to criticism from all wings of the coalition. Many resent his ambition and suspect him of using unrest in Oromia for political advantage. Some think he and Lemma Megersa, Oromia’s popular president, turned a blind eye to attacks on non-Oromos. TPLF supporters accused the OPDO of fomenting a Western-sponsored revolution."