ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — An official says Ethiopia’s ruling party has named as its leader acting Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, who took over after the death last month of longtime leader Meles Zenawi.
As chairman of the Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front, Hailemariam, 47, will almost certainly be confirmed as the country’s prime minister. Bereket Simon, Ethiopia’s communications minister, said Saturday that Hailemariam would be sworn in soon, perhaps in a few weeks. It remains unclear exactly when this will happen.
Hailemariam’s ascension to the ruling party’s top leadership signals that he is not just warming the seat for someone else and that influential party officials are keen to respect the wishes of Zenawi, who picked Hailemariam from obscurity and made him foreign minister and deputy prime minister.