From: Berhane Habtemariam (Berhane.Habtemariam@gmx.de)
Date: Sun Feb 15 2009 - 08:17:50 EST
Ethiopia's dictator Meles Zenawi plans to quit in 2010
February 15th, 2009
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (Afrique en ligne) - Ethiopia's dictator Meles Zenawi
said on Friday he was in consultations with his ruling party about the
possibility of quitting as Prime Minister and retaining his role as the
party leader after next year's elections.
The Ethiopian Premier, who has been at the helm of the ruling Ethiopian
People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) for the last 18 years, said
on Friday that he has had enough and wanted to do something different after
the next elections.
Ethiopia is about 15 months away from the next elections, due in 2010.
The Prime Minister says he is considering quitting the post and remaining as
party leader (a la Russia's Putin) if his party members agree to the
position, but said he would make a final decision on this later.
"I do not think there is a conflict of policy here. My desire is that I have
had enough here and I have to move on. I want to leave this position (Prime
Minister) without leaving the party as leader but I have to respect the
decisions of the party," Meles told journalists.
Meles was asked about two conflicting signals he had given about his
intentions not to seek a new mandate during the next elections in 2010. He
said his personal decisions not to seek the post of Prime Minister must be
balanced by the party position.
The EPRDF says it has yet to decide on who would be the next leader but the
party has begun the search for a new leader of the party. The party sources
say they are looking for the "new face of Ethiopia" if the current premier
insists on not running for the post.
"I cannot be a member of the party and not respect its decisions. My open
decision is that there will be no conflict between my position and that of
the party. If there is a conflict, I will have the freedom to chose but I
will try to resolv e the differences,' the PM said.
Meles said among his major achievements were leading the Ethiopian
transition process from military rule to a democratic system that employs a
parliamentary system of leadership.
The PM said he was glad Ethiopia's transition from military rule to
democracy did not suffer from setbacks such as those witnessed in Eastern
He said Ethiopia had transformed its political system to a full democracy,
despite certain limitations the three arms of government still suffered.
He also said Ethiopia's move from economic stagnation to rapid growth was
equally an achievement during his tenure as Prime Minister. [This guy
doesn't get tired of lying. Ethiopia under the Woyanne rule remains one of
the poorest countries in the world where millions of children do not have
enough food to eat and have no access to school.]
"We took Ethiopia into one of the seven few elite states with a higher
economic growth rate in the world, that is an achievement," Meles, who holds
a record as one of the few African leaders to conduct regular press
interviews, told a three-hour long briefing.
He said under his rule, steps to fight corruption had also been initiated
but expressed disappointment at some very lenient sentences that some people
charged with corruption were getting away with. [Meles and his wife, Azeb
Mesfin, are thought to be the most corrupt
awi-plans-to-quit-in-2010/> politicians in Africa who amassed incredible
wealth in the past two decades.]
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