Ethiopia’s first women attorney general confirmed in the parliament

Adanech Abebe is confirmed as Ethiopia’s first women attorney general.Two more women appointed for ministerial positions.

women attorney general _ Ethiopia
Left to right : Adanech Abebe, La’qe Ayalew, Liya Tadesse and Filsan Abdullahi . Photo credit : Ethiopian News Agency

borkena
March 12, 2020

Ethiopian Parliament had a tense debate on Thursday as four candidates appeared in the House for confirmation, but they were all confirmed in the end after a vote was administered. 

Adanech Abebe, who used to serve as Minister for the Ministry of Revenue, is confirmed as the first women attorney general in the history of Ethiopia. La’qe Ayalew, former deputy head of Amhara regional state, will take over her previous position in the Ministry of Revenue, and the parliament has confirmed him too.

Liya Tadesse is the new Minister for Health. She has experience in the department as she was working as State Minister for nearly two years now. 

And Filsan Abdullahi is named as the Minister of Women, Children, and Youth.  She is replacing Yalem Tsegaye – who was included in the list of people appointed for ambassadorial positions, as announced by the office of the president on March 3, 2020.  Filsan is said to be the first one to open Television stations in the Somali region of Ethiopia.

The Gender balance Cabinet is still in good shape. There is one addition of a woman Minister in reality. Ministerial portfolio in the Ministry of Health has been vacant since December 2019 following the resignation of Semir Amin. As it turns out, it made it possible for one more female minister in Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s cabinet. 

The debate in the parliament was tense. Two reasons stand out for the opposition. 

Some members of the parliament expressed their opposition that Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government is changing ministers “every six months,” as those who opposed the appointment described it. The approach is not productive in their views as it would make ministers not to focus on their job to “bring about a result in the fight against poverty. ” 

Others argued that the Prosperity Party does not have the legal right to propose the appointment of new ministers. The party was formed in November 2019 after three members of the EPRDF coalition and five allies merged to form a single party. Constitutionally, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed is entitled to propose his minister to the parliament, but his opponents in the parliament seem to accept that arguing that he has lost legal ground to remain as Prime Minister.  

Others opposed the appointment on the grounds of inclusivity. Some members of the parliament who won their seats on the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) ticket in north Ethiopia blame the proposal that it has excluded the people of Tigray. Tesfaye Daba, Member of Parliament, refuted the allegation saying that one of the four newly appointed ministers ( Liya Tadesse) has a root in Tigray.  But that was not the point for those who opposed the appointment. They argue, “TPLF is the legitimate representative of the people of Tigray. To exclude TPLF is to exclude the people of Tigray.”  

In any case, with only five more months to go for the next general election, all the newly appointed ministers took an oath before the parliament after their confirmation. 



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