Abiy Ahmed Ali replaced Hailemariam Desalegn who had resigned in mid-February this year, saying he should pave the way for reforms.
By Addis Getachew & Seleshi Tessema (Anadolu Agency) |
ADDIS ABABA ― Abiy Ahmed Ali has been sworn in as the new prime minister of Ethiopia in a parliamentary meeting held on Monday.
Abiy replaced Hailemariam Desalegn who had resigned in mid-February this year, saying he should pave the way for reforms.
Inducted into his new office, Abiy met a rapturous welcome as members of parliament clapped and ululated.
Hailed from Oromia region where most of the anti-government protests were held over the past two years, the new prime minister is widely seen as a unifying force.
In his speech after swearing in, the new prime minister vowed to redouble efforts to tackle lack of good governance in the country, address the problem of unemployment, unify the country and do away with corruption, which he said ate away the country’s resources.
“Civil rights must be ensured and it is something people are naturally endowed with, not something that government gives to citizens,” he said.
“Political pluralism is a must as it is a bedrock to make sure that democracy works,” he said, adding in a diverse nation such as Ethiopia democracy is a question of existence.
“We are very much ready to work with those political parties who hold opposing views and we should ensure equal playing field for competition,” he said.
The future will see reconciliation, peace and justice across the country, he said, adding: “We should do away with ethnic-based division and hatred.”
Noting the protests in the past few years in which considerable human lives were lost and property destroyed, Abiy Ahmed Ali said: “I apologize from the depth of my heart to the families who lost their loved ones.”
He also paid homage to the men and women in uniform.
The prime minister said the protests caused economic slowdown in the country as foreign currency remained in short supply.
Regarding foreign relations, he said his government would continue amicable relations with neighboring countries.
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