Hailemariam Desalegn sworn in as Ethiopia's prime minister

Friday, September 21, 2012

Hailemariam Desalegn in 2011
Image: World Economic Forum.

The Ethiopian Parliament has today sworn in Hailemariam Desalegn as the new prime minister following the death of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi on August 20, 2012. Hailemariam has been Ethiopia's deputy prime minister and foreign minister.

Hailemariam was named chair of the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) last weekend. The EPRDF currently controls Ethiopia's parliament.

Mr Hailemariam said he is "happy" to become prime minister, according to Agence France-Presse.

Ethiopia has been perceived as an east African ally of the U.S. on security issues. Hailemariam has said he would continue his predecessor's "legacy without any change". In addition, David Shinn, the U.S. ambassador to Ethiopia from 1996 to 1999, has agreed that it is likely U.S.–Ethiopia relations will not change greatly with Hailemariam as prime minister.