The political upheavals the country passed through for the past three years seems to have simmered down. The leadership of the Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) seems to be content with the calm which came following the measures taken that range from the decision to release politically significant prisoners to the resignation of Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn.
After Hailemariam’s replacement by Abiy Ahmed (PhD) both as the Front’s chair and the Prime Minister of the nation, the lengthy public discontent and public uprising in many parts of the country, especially in Oromia and Amhara regions, have calmed down except few isolated incidents that popup every now and then.
Since his inauguration, Abiy had a busy schedule meeting different section of the society both in Addis Ababa and other regional towns.
After his return from the Amhara Regional State, the first thing on his calendar was the farewell dinner party organized to honor the former Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn.
During the dinner ceremony, Abiy said that “Hailemariam is an honest leader who taught leadership is possible through love and dignity.”
The farewell dinner attended by multiple dignitaries, high level government officials, and invitees from the diplomatic community, was mainly in celebration of Hailemariam’s time in office and his bold decision to resign from his post.
“Unlike me, Hailemariam was not lucky when he came to power. He had no one to support him and call every night to ask how his day passed,” Abiy said stating that Hailemariam came to power in a very trying time following the death of Meles Zenawi.
In his emotional address to the crowd, Hailemariam gave credit to his wife as well as his children who he said were big supporters that stood behind him.
He further said; “My wife Roman Tesfaye was the one who calmed me down whenever I got angry; and she is the one who puts a limit to my happiness when I become too ecstatic.”
In an honor no one has received before, Hailemariam was given a medal of honor as well as an honorary diploma to his service of the country. Similarly, his wife Roman received an honorary golden medal and an accompanying diploma.
Abiy’s next stop was Hawassa, the seat of the Southern Regional State, to deliver his speech to a crowd that filled the Hawassa International Stadium.
Abiy appreciated the people of the region for their long-known history of self-administration as well as their trade practices.
But to the surprise of many, he announced that there will be a term limit to the Prime Ministerial position in Ethiopia which will also prompt a major constitutional amendment, perhaps for the first time since its ratification. This was a controversial decision by the new PM for Ethiopia is ruled by a parliamentarian form of government and the practice is most common with the presidential system.
Taye Atskeselassie, former state minister of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs – now serving as Ethiopia’s ambassador to Egypt – was the first to point out this inherent confusion in PM’s remarks on his official twitter page.
“Limiting the term of a Prime Minster in a Parliamentary system will be unique and probably unheard of. Often, it is the prerogative of Parliament or the party (parties) that got the majority votes. If a term limit is essential per se, one may think of Presidential form of Government,” Taye tweeted.
In his discussion with the gathering of different representatives that came from different parts of the region, Abiy called for people in foreign countries to come to the country and contribute their part in all aspects.