Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed expected to announce new government

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed is expected to announce the formation of a new government today. In a June vote—hailed

Tiksa Negeri Reuters

Photo: Tiksa Negeri/Reuters

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed is expected to announce the formation of a new government today.

In a June vote—hailed by the premier as the country’s first free and fair election in decades—Abiy’s Prosperity Party won 410 of 436 parliamentary seats. Opposition leader Berhanu Nega, however, filed over 200 complaints with the country’s election board alleging irregularities.

Abiy is under intense pressure to unify his country in light of ethnic and political divisions, famine and allegations of human rights abuses. The embattled prime minister continues to face international pressure over war in Tigray, which observers claim has resulted in famine and ethnic cleansing.

Further, Abiy faces a dilemma: Ethiopia’s 1995 constitution establishes a system of ethnic federalism, but the ease in which groups may semi-autonomously govern themselves has made it harder for the federal government to maintain order. The conflict in Tigray, as well as a referendum currently underway in the south-western Southern Nations region, are a direct result of this fragmentary system. In order to strengthen his power, Abiy will have to strengthen the federal government—which would require amending the constitution. Yet doing so too fast or aggressively is likely to further enflame divisions.

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