Ethiopia’s incumbent Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has been sworn in for a new five-year term following his party’s landslide victory in the June elections.
Abiy, on Monday, took the oath of office, administered by Supreme Court Chief Justice Meaza Ashenafi, following similar oaths by the speaker and deputy speaker of the parliament’s lower house. Just three African heads of state — from Nigeria, Senegal and neighboring Somalia — attended the swearing-in ceremony.
“I, Abiy Ahmed Ali, today in the House of People’s Representatives, accept the appointment as prime minister, as I pledge to undertake responsibly and with faith to the constitution the responsibility placed upon me by the people,” he said.
Abiy, whose government faces a host of challenges, including a months-long conflict in the northern region of Tigray, was declared the winner of parliamentary elections in June this year after his party won 410 of the 436 parliamentary seats that were contested. As Prime Minister, Abiy will be the Head of State, chairman of the Council of Ministers and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces for the next five years.
Abiy Ahmed is the first Ethiopian and the first Oromo to be awarded a Nobel Prize, winning the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize for ending the 20-year post-war territorial stalemate between Ethiopia and Eritrea. However, political and ethnic unrest and ethnic discrimination increased in Ethiopia during this time – marked by heightened episodes of violence and an armed conflict between government forces and TPLF forces.
Congratulations are in order for the Prime Minister. However, it remains unclear whether his swearing-in will alter the course of the war between the government forces and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) rebel group.