Ethiopia to form new government in October

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Ethiopia says it will form a new government in October. The speaker of the House of Peoples’ Representatives says plans have been finalised to ensure a new administration begins functioning on 4 October.

The new session will end the transitional period of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, which began in April 2018. Abiy Ahmed’s Prosperity Party won in the July parliamentary elections conducted in a majority of constituencies in the country.

The national electoral board says areas that could not vote because of insecurity or logistical challenges will do so on 30 September, just a few days before the new administration is formed.

Stability in Tigray

Peace and security are bound to be one of the challenges of the new government. One whole region in the North, Tigray, did not participate in the polls and does not have a new date scheduled to vote because of the protracted conflict there.

As the government battles with the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) for control of the Tigray region, the UN continues to raise concerns about a deteriorating humanitarian crisis involving over 5 million people. Development agency USAID has accused the TPLF of looting humanitarian aid, especially in the Amhara region that borders Tigray.

Efforts to have Ethiopian-led peace talks as suggested by the United Nations remain stalled because the Ethiopian government says it cannot negotiate with terrorists.

The TPLF has rejected a decision by the African Union to appoint former Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo as a special envoy for the Horn of Africa. It has accused the AU of partiality towards the Ethiopian government and says the mission will not work.

This conflict and others in some parts of the country are challenges that Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed will carry over from his transition period to the new government in a month’s time.