ADDIS ABABA (Xinhua) -- The
newly appointed Ethiopia’s President Sahle-Work Zewde on
Thursday stressed unity among Ethiopians and the need to sustain
the ongoing reform in the country.
Zewde, who was elected as the east African country’s first
female president following the official resignation of the
former President Mulatu Teshome on Thursday, addressed the
parliament’s two houses - the Ethiopian House of People’s
Representatives (HoPR) and the Ethiopian House of Federation,
the lower and upper houses respectively.
Zewde, in her acceptance speech before the two houses, vowed to
serve her country and its people with her utmost efforts.
She also stressed the need to maintain the longstanding unity
among Ethiopians as well as sustain the ongoing reform of the
Ethiopian government and the governance structure.
“The ongoing reform process, which embraces equal representation
of women as well as people from different ethnic groups, will
lead us to realize a prosperous, developed and united Ethiopia
in the near future,” she said.
Zewde, who is a well-regarded diplomat representing Ethiopia at
global, continental and regional organizations including the UN
and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, had also
served as Ethiopia’s ambassador to various countries.
Zewde had also served as Ethiopia’s envoy at the African Union
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in June 2018 appointed
Zewde as his Special Representative to the AU and Head of the UN
Office to the African Union at the level of
The appointment of Zewde, 68, came shortly after the approval of
Teshome’s resignation request by the two houses’ joint
Teshome was unanimously appointed as Ethiopia’s president on
Oct. 7, 2013 while he was serving as Ethiopia’s ambassador to
Teshome’s resignation, and the eventual appointment of Zewde,
followed the recent Ethiopian government’s cabinet reshuffle.
The HoPR last week approved the appointment of 16 new cabinet
members upon the endorsement of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, in
which only four of the previous cabinet members remained in
Exercising a parliamentary political system, the Ethiopian
president has a ceremonial power, which includes granting
amnesty to prisoners, officially opening the annual proceedings
of the parliament’s two houses, receiving foreign ambassadors,
as well as presenting the country’s annual targets to members of
The prime minister is the head of government, in which a
political party or coalition with the highest parliamentary
seats, at least 51 percent of the active seats at the Ethiopian
parliament’s lower house, forms a government.