President Paul Kagame has expressed solidarity with the People of Ethiopia as they continue to go through a political transition in the wake of the resignation of Prime Minister Haile Mariam Desalegn last month, and the process to replace him.
The President’s solidarity message follows the election on Tuesday of 42-year old Abiy Ahmed as the new Chairman of the Ethiopia’s ruling EPRDF coalition, which puts him in position as the most likely next Prime Minister.
Desalegn is also the outgoing chairperson of the four-party coalition.
“As chairman of the AU on behalf of other African leaders wanted to express our solidarity with the Ethiopian people and their leaders as they continue to find from within and among themselves solutions to the recent political problems they faced,” President Kagame via his Twitter handle Wednesday evening.
He said he had since called Ahmed "to congratulate him and through him entire EPRDF as well as people of Ethiopia for selecting him as able compromise PM yet to be confirmed by parliament.”
The President added that he was looking forward to having Ethiopia continue to play its historical central role effectively and soon on our Continent.
Ethiopia hosts the headquarters of the African Union.
According to local media, on Tuesday, Ahmed garnered 108 out of 180 votes in a meeting by the EPRDF's Council, which comprises 45 members each from the four political parties that make up the coalition.
The parties that form the coalition are: the Tigrayan People's Liberation Front (TPLF), the Amhara National Democratic Movement (ANDM), the Oromo Peoples' Democratic Organisation (OPDO) and the Southern Ethiopian People's Democratic Movement (SEPDM).
Ahmed, who hails from OPDO Party to which he is Chairman, has previously served in the Ethiopian National Defense Force up to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and he said to have been instrumental in establishing the Ethiopian Information Network Security Agency (INSA).
He is also a one-time minister of Science and Technology.
Hailemariam's abrupt resignation last month prompted the government to declare a six-month state of emergency in a bid to stem political unrest in the Horn of Africa nation.