Ethiopia’s parliament approves new cabinet members

Ethiopia’s House People’s Representatives (HoPR) has approved the appointment of new cabinet members upon the endorsement of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

The newly-introduced cabinet has 22 members, including the reappointment of Demeke Mekonnen as Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Ethiopia; and appointments of three ministers from opposition parties, marking the first-ever representation of opposition political party leaders in the cabinet.

The three newly-appointed ministers from opposition parties include the veteran politician Berhanu Nega, leader of the Ethiopian Citizens for Social Justice, who was appointed as the Minister of Education.

The other two are leaders of National Movement of Amhara (NAMA) and Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) Belete Mola and Merdasa Tulu, who were appointed as Innovation and Technology Minister and Culture and Sports Minister, respectively.

Members of the HoPR, the Ethiopian parliament’s lower house, approved the 22 new cabinet members, 19 of whom are drawn from the ruling Prosperity Party, with a majority vote.

Among the notable omissions from the previous cabinet members was Seleshi Bekele, Ethiopia’s former Minister of Water, Irrigation and Energy, who represented the East African country in a series of trilateral negotiations with Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan concerning the construction of Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) on the Blue Nile River.