Who Will Replace Meles Zenawi

July 31st, 2008 | by addis portal |

Joe Michael In a rear declaration by an African leader, Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Meles Zenawi vowed in multiple occasions that he would step down as a PM when his term ends in 2010. He has been the Head of the State and the prime Minster for the past 18 years.

Those 18 years weren’t easy to Meles. They were very challenging. The country had to go through different wars under his leadership. His comrades almost demoted him post Ethiopia-Eritrea war. His reputation has been diminished by his offensive reaction to the opposition’s decision of boycotting the parliament as a result of the controversial 2005 election. The construction boom and the increase in the private investment aren’t promising to the economy either. Hanger and poverty are still the main threats of the country.

After 18 years in power, the Meles administration has not created a single neutral institution that can be trusted by the people. There are no free and democratic institutions, including the court. The media is still controlled by the government; in fact freedom of press was much better in Meles’s first term than today. After 18 years in power, TPLF lacks confidence and guns are still aimed at the people.

However, if what Meles said is true, there are only two years before he hands over the leadership. Apparently, there is nothing much he can do within the next two years of his last administration. Therefore, history will remember him through what he has done so far. Perhaps, his greatest achievement was leading the TPLF guerilla fighters winning the Derge regime.

In the meantime, the most significant and rational thing to do is to assess who would replace Meles Zenawi and to evaluate the changes that would come with it. In deed, who would replace Meles Zenawi? TPLF has not yet revealed its candidate, but it will soon be a critical task to do. Regardless, based on Meles’s declaration, one thing is very clear. Whether an opposition, if there will be one, or EPRDF wins the next election, there will be a new Prime Minister for Ethiopia.

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