19 September 2012 [ESAT]
The incoming Prime Minister of Ethiopia together with his deputy Demeke Mekonnen will be sworn in on Friday in a what political observers called a sudden change of plan by the ruling EPRDF. Preparations are underway to make the day profitable for the ‘confused’ and ‘distraught’ members of the front in terms of politics, our source in Addis Ababa says.
The Bereket Simon faction within the front is believed to have come out a winner in the ongoing internal political struggle. According to insider sources, Bereket has laboured more than anyone else to lobby the OPDO caucus to settle for Hailemariam and his own personal protégé Demeke Mekonnen. It is not clear as to why the Bereket led team is rushing to swear in the elected duos on Friday only after he personally announced that they won’t be sworn in until October 5, 2012, when Parliament starts its legislative season. Political commentators believe the sudden urge to conclude the official swearing in by the end of this week might have got something to do with the rumblings within the hard core TPLF faction.
During the time the Prime Minister is believed to have died in mid-July and the day the death has officially been announced on August 20, Bereket and his political allies have been hatching their political game plane moving forward. According to our in house political analyst, Bereket has used Meles’ death as a pure ‘public relation instrument’ where he projected Meles as a visionary leader and himself as the custodian of the vision. Observers believe this has put many politicians in the OPDO caucus and hard core TPLF veterans on the defensive.
Only weeks after Meles has been eulogized as the sole actor in what the termed as political and economic strides over the last 21 years, the growing political buzz word in the EPRDF corridors is the old mantra of ‘group leadership’ which observers say is a management booby trap to control Hailemariam. Well informed sources from Addis Ababa are not upbeat about the possibly of reversal of policy from the incoming administration. Even if Hailemariam means well things are most likely to remain the same for the foreseeable future so long as he is manned by the powerful TPLF machine from behind.
With 99.6% control over the seats in Parliament, Hailemariam’s and his deputy’s swearing in is all but certain. In the new cabinet appointment, Hailemariam’s erstwhile deputy– Berhane Gebrekiristos–is expected to become the Minister at the Foreign Affairs Ministry.