Demeke Mekonnen and Adem Farah are elected as Deputy Chairpersons of Prosperity Party
On the second day of its First Party Congress, the ruling prosperity party on Saturday announced that it had elected Abiy Ahmed, the prime minister, as chairman of the party. He held the position for the past three-plus years.
“Since I want to serve diligently and ethically; in order for me to be Ethiopian and serve you all with impartiality, and loyalty, for time and situations not to take to here and there, pray for me.”
In the tradition of the party, which is inherited from the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), now defunct, the chairman of the party is elected as Prime Minister. Essentially, it is the party that elects the prime minister, the highest authority in Ethiopia as things stand now.
Prosperity Party has also elected two Deputy Chairman – Demeke Mekonnen and Adem Farah. No explanation was given as to why two Deputy Chairman are needed for the party.
Demeke has served as deputy party chairman for the past three years in the party structure. In the government position ( the difference between the party and government is negligible), he has been serving as Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister.
Adem Farah has served as Speaker of the House of Federation ( upper house in the existing Ethiopian government structure) after Keria Ibrahim, who happened to be an executive member of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, unexpectedly resigned in June 2020 as the difference between TPLF and Abiy Ahmed led party escalated which eventually led to war. In October 2021, Adem Farah was replaced by Agegnehu Teshager who served as president of the Amhara region. Adem Farah was serving as head of the party office until yesterday.
“Personally, I was interested in quitting the position of authority. However, I found it improper to put responsibility aside at this point in time and I am ready to serve more than ever before in the role that congress bestowed upon me, ” Demeke Mekonnen said in a remark to the congress after he was elected as deputy chairman.
He also remarked about his colleague and boss, as he described him. “On this level, I am very happy to work with a colleague and boss who is shouldering all things and working twenty-four hours,” he added.
Adem Farah had words of gratitude to the congress. “We thank you for electing us for this position…we will commit ourselves to work day and night to meet the trust you bestowed upon us,” he said.
Soon after the fall of the TPLF dominated central government, the Prosperity Party gained popularity on grounds of promised reform to bring about unity and prosperity to Ethiopians.
However, there is simmering ( sometimes visible on the surface) disenchantment among Ethiopians that Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed failed Ethiopia. Particular points of criticism are the failure to provide security for Ethiopians and the right to live in dignity and work in different parts of Ethiopia. Thousands of innocent civilians had been massacred in the Oromo and Benishangul Gumuz regions of Ethiopia by a radical ethnic Oromo nationalist group and Gumuz gunmen since Abiy Ahmed became Prime Minister in 2018.
The war with TPLF has also brought about destruction to the Afar and Amhara regions of Ethiopia, and there is a sentiment among ethnic Afar and Amhara politicians and activists, in the opposition quarter, that it could have been averted had Abiy Ahmed’s government acted decisively and in a timely fashion.
The First Prosperity Party Congress, which started on Friday, is expected to conclude on Monday.
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