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Ethiopia’s OPDO picks new chairman in bid to produce next Prime Minister

Ethiopia’s Oromo People Democratic Organization (OPDO) has elected a new leader in the person of Dr. Abiy Ahmed, the Addis Standard portal reports.

The party’s 81-member Central Committee voted for the new changes on Thursday. The move is seen as a bid to position Ahmed as the next Prime Minister of the country.

He takes the post of OPDO Chairperson and replaces Lemma Megerssa the immediate past occupant of the role. Megerssa drops to the post of deputy OPDO chair but maintains his post as president of the Oromia region.

Dr. Abiy Ahmed’s appointment as chairman of the OPDO came after the party’s 15 member executive committee, led by Lemma Megeressa, reached at a consensus on Monday this week to replace him as the chairman, the Addis Standard added.

The post of Prime Minister became vacant after the resignation a week ago of PM Hailemariam Desalegn. The ruling Ethiopia Peoples Democratic Front (EPRDF) is expected to go to congress to elect Desalegn’s successor. He is continuing in the role till congress decides.

The four parties under the EPRDF include the OPDO, the Amhara National Democratic Movement (ANDM), the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and the Southern Ethiopian People’s Democratic Movement (SEPDM).

Desalegn belonged to the SEPDM whiles the late PM Meles Zenawi belonged to the TPLF. The coalition holds 100% seats of the parliament. The country is due to return to the polls in 2020.

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