Addis Standard

PM Hailemariam reshuffles his cabinet

Emnet Assefa

The House of People’s Representatives approved the appointment of 10 ministers presented to it by Prime Hailemariam Dessalegn this morning. The house also approved the federal budget for the 2006 Ethiopian fiscal year.

The newly appointed ministers include, education, government communication affairs, industry, transport, government whipto the house, science and technology, justice, customs authority, environment and forest protection and economic planning.

The parliament also approved PM Hailemariam’s request to discharge Demeke Mekonene of his double as minister of education and stay only as Deputy Prime Minister. Demeke was replaced by Shiferaw Shigute, president of Southern Nations and Nationalities People Regional State (SNNPR.

PM Hilemariam also assigned current public mobilization and participation advisor to the prime minister with a rank of minister and head of the ruling EPRDF secretarial, Redwan Hussien, as the government communication affairs minister replacing the long-time serving Bereket Simeon, who was assigned yesterday to as Prime Minister’s policy research advisor. However, some media reports claim Bereket will also be advising the PM on security issues.

Deputy administrator of the Amhara Regional State and Head of Industry and Urban Development Office of the regional state, Ahmed Abetew, is now minister of Industry, while the only non-partisan former minister of Industry Mekonene Manyazewal is assigned as the new Commissioner to National Planning Commission.

Workneh Gebyehu, Chief of the Federal Police Commission is now assigned as minister of transport, replacing Diriba Kuma, who is tipped to become the next Mayor of Addis Ababa.

Head of the natural resource department at a GIZ run project on sustainable land management in Tigray regional state, Belete Tesfa, is now a minister at a newly created Ministry of Environment and forest protection.

Mayor of Adama City, Beker Shale has replaced Melaku Fente, former Director of Ethiopian Revenues and Customs Authority (ERCA) who is now in prison accused of grand corruption.

Berhane Hailu, former Minister of Justice who was fired in May by the Prime Minister himself for incompetence is now replaced by Getachew Ambaye, former land development and management office head at Addis Ababa City Administration with a rank of Deputy Mayer.

Raising the number to four women ministers, PM Haiemariam also assigned two more women: Roman Gebresilase, who is the deputy government whip to the house of peoples’ representative is now chief government whip, and Demitu Hannisa, spokesperson for the Oromo People Democratic Organization (OPDO), one of the four coalitions that form the ruling EPRDF, is now the minister of Science and Technology..

The House also approved 154.9 billion birr as thenational budget for the coming Ethiopian fiscal year which has shown an increase of 12% compared to that of last year’s 137.8 Billion Birr

Upon the request of PM Hailemariam the house dismissed the two motions presented to it by the lone opposition representative Girma Seifu. Girma requested the house to lessen the budget reasoning government’s excessive borrowing that he says will dry out private investments. He also requested the house to slash the budget allocated for the Ethiopian Broadcast Authority on the grounds that most of the authority’s works are unnecessary.