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Chief Justice Meaza Ashenafi (right) shakes hands with the newly sworn in Defence Minister, Lemma Megersa, former president of the Oromia Regional State, on April 18, 2018, in parliament.


Chief Justice Meaza Ashenafi (right) shakes hands with the newly sworn in Defence Minister, Lemma Megersa, former president of the Oromia Regional State, on April 18, 2018, in parliament. Aisha Mohammed (centre), who just been replaced by Lemma after serving for less than a year and newly appointed as minister of Urban Development & Construction, looks on.


Lemma is only one of two regional leaders that have been brought into the federal government. Gedu Andargachew, former president of the Amhara Regional State, was sworn in as Foreign Minister, a post vacated by Worqeneh Gebeyehu (PhD), who had served for three years. Worqeneh’s appointment as director-general of the United Nations Office in Nairobi was announced on March 8, 2019, the same day Gedu submitted his resignation to the region’s Council.


Although both nominations passed with five abstentions and one objection, parliamentarians questioned the rate of cabinet reshuffling. The Construction Ministry, before being folded into the Ministry of Urban Development & Construction, was headed by Aisha before her appointment as Defence Minister last October.  Siraj Fegessa was Defence Minister until Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD) replaced him with Motuma Mekassa in April 2018, and Aisha was appointed six months later as the first woman to hold the post.


Reaction to the appointment has been divided. While some argue that the Prime Minister has brought allies to the federal government, strengthening his position in the power dynamics of the nation, others have complained that institutional integrity would be compromised if only political considerations are taken in making appointments.



PUBLISHED ON Apr 20,2019 [ VOL 20 , NO 990]


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