By ARGAW ASHINE, Africa reviewIn a sign of a growing internal power struggle, Ethiopia's ruling party has further delayed choosing its new leader and by extension the prime minister of the country.
Executive council members of the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) in a closed-door meeting Tuesday failed to agree on election procedures for the new party leader, exposing the divide among the ruling elite.
Former party leader and prime minister Meles Zenawi died in a Brussels hospital on August 20. A day later, Ethiopia's cabinet endorsed his deputy, Mr Hailemariam Desalegn, as acting prime minister and indicated that he would shortly be confirmed by parliament, a formality.
Mr Meles had been the chairman of the ruling party as well as of the powerful Tigrian People's Liberation Front (TPLF), one of the four ethnic-based parties in the coalition.
However Tuesday's meeting of the top ruling party organ appeared to contradict the Cabinet's original decision and state media have dropped references to Mr Hailemariam as prime minister-designate.
The executive council, made up of 36 members (nine from each of four coalition members), has now set a new schedule for next week to elect a new party chief in what will be a bigger meeting of 60.
The party has however sought to downplay the dispute and asked its members to continue with their normal duties.
"Within those who are in a struggle of a common goal, the installation of leadership is an easy issue as it is simply assigning a comrade who would pay huge sacrifices... and rather the focus should be on our respective duties," a party statement said.
In this session the wider leadership of 60 members (15 each from the four constituent parties) of the more powerful EPRDF council will choose a new party leader who would then be confirmed by parliament, in which it holds all but one of the 547 seats.http://www.africareview.com/News/Ethiop ... index.htmlviewtopic.php?f=2&t=42420