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Ethiopia gets first female president

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[Ms Sahle-Work Zewde, the new Ethiopian president in a previous meeting./photo-courtesy]

Ethiopian members of parliament have elected Sahle-Work Zewde as the country’s first female president.

A comment shared by the Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff Fitsum Arega, congratulated on her election by the two Houses and termed it historic being the first female head of state in the modern Ethiopia.

Her election to the ceremonial position comes a week after Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed appointed a cabinet with half the posts taken up by women.

Last week, when the prime minister reshuffled his cabinet, he appointed 10 female ministers, making Ethiopia the third country in Africa, after Rwanda and Seychelles, to achieve gender parity in their cabinets.

She replaces Mulatu Teshome Wirtu, who tendered his resignation to parliament earlier on Wednesday.
Teshome, who had held the office for five years, departed one year ahead of his term ending, saying he wanted to be part of change and reforms.

Immediately before becoming president, Ms Sahle-Work was the UN representative at the African Union.

In the Ethiopian constitution, the post of president is ceremonial with the prime minister holding the political power.​