Ethiopia’s ruling coalition has elected a new leader in the person of Dr. Abiy Ahmed following the resignation of Hailemariam Desalegn last month, the state-run Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation said on Tuesday.
The state-run channel said the 180-member council of the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) chose Abiye to succeed Hailemariam as the chairperson of the coalition, meaning he automatically became premier.
“In today’s session, the council held a vote and elected Abiye Ahmed as chairperson,” said the presenter from the state-run EBC in the announcement. He did not give any further details.
Abiy, who hails from the Oromo ethnic group, will take over the embattled government of Africa’s second most populous nation.
The ruling coalition has struggled to contain persistent and violent unrest since 2015, the biggest challenge to its hold on power since 1991.
Anti-government protests began in 2015 over land rights before broadening into demonstrations over political and human rights.
The government has twice imposed emergency rule, most recently last month after Hailemariam’s resignation, to contain unrest mainly in Oromiya province, the country’s most populous region.
Amid the violence, security forces have killed hundreds of people, rights groups say.