Ethiopia Politics

Ethiopia gets first female president

Ethiopian members of parliament have elected Ambassador Sahlework Zewde as the county’s new president.

This comes after they accepted the resignation of the outgoing President, Mulatu Teshome.

In a unanimous vote, Ethiopian lawmakers picked career diplomat Sahle-Work Zewde to replace Mulatu Teshome who resigned.

Ms Sahlework is Ethiopia’s first female president, a week after Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed appointed a cabinet that was 50% female.

In Ethiopia’s constitution, the prime minister holds the political power and the president is a figurehead.

Sahle-Work, who is in her late 60s, has been Ethiopia’s ambassador to France, Djibouti, Senegal and the regional bloc, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD).

Just prior to her appointment as president she was the UN’s top official at the African Union. She is fluent in English and French as well as Amharic.

As president she is expected to serve two six-year terms.



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