As Dr. Abiy Ahmed is set to take the reigns as Ethiopia’s new prime minister, some doubt if the military and intelligence would fall in line and take his orders

Dr Abiy vs Gen. Samora Yunus
Dr Abiy vs Gen. Samora Yunus

Abbay Media

Shiberu Tamerat

The newly elected chair of Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), Dr. Abiy, is expected to serve as Ethiopia’s new prime minister, according to party rules.

Mr. Hailemariam Desalegn, who served as Ethiopia’s prime minister after the death of the late prime minister Meles Zenawi, submitted to resign his post for he allegedly saw his resignation essential in a bid to carry his party’s effort to bring reform, peace and prosperity in the country. In a contentious nomination process following Mr. Hailemariam’s resignation to elect the next prime minister of Ethiopia, Dr. Abiy was elected by receiving 108 votes out of 180.

The last three years have seen a marked improvement in the working relationships between the leaders of the Oromo and Amhara people. Reports show the camaraderie between the representative of the two people was in full display in the process of electing Dr. Abiy as the party chair of the EPRDF. The reports also indicated, Dr. Abiy Ahmed will be facing difficult challenges when he takes the reigns as the country’s new leader.

Activist Jewar Mohammed said, Dr. Abiy is presented with a great opportunity to transition Ethiopia peacefully into a democratic nation if he chooses to use it.

Mr. Yeshiwas Assefa, head of The Blue Party added, Dr. Abiy has the ability to understand the demand the people are making and also comprehend the people’s desire to see change in the country.

Mr. Bekele Gerba, vice head of Oromo Federalist Conference (OFC) said, the power to bring about change in the country would not rest under the control of Dr. Abiy Ahmed. Mr. Gerba believes the election of Dr. Abiy matters little because the TPLF dominated security and military remains the same and continue to wield great influence no matter who is elected as the country’s prime minister. Mr. Bekele has his doubts if the military and intelligence would fall in line and take orders from Dr. Abiy. He added, the nation’s future hangs on whether these two parts of the government (security and military) abide by the constitution and respect the rule of law.

Opinion makers on print and social media are stating the success of the new prime minister will be measured by the steps he takes to lift the State of Emergency (SOE), secure the release of journalist and politicians languishing in prison cells around country and the opening in earnest of an honest dialogue with opposition groups. If Dr. Abiy takes these steps, this will affirm the new prime minister’s resolve to bring meaningful change in the country. Furthermore they added, bringing to justice those government officials responsible for killing innocent Ethiopians and violating their human rights is the responsibility of the new prime minister, but are quick to admit that is going to be a very daunting task.

Dr. Abiy is faced with a very complicated problem and difficult task, he also has a chance to make history. However he should not waste this golden opportunity like Hailemariam Desalegn or Meles Zenawi before him.