The house cleaning exercise within the Revolutionary Democrats’ camp concluded

The house cleaning exercise within the Revolutionary Democrats’ camp appears to have come to a conclusion; they seem to have almost done with the designations of their ranks entrusted with the leadership of the four main regional states. To the disappointment of many who were hankering to see a change of guard at the highest executive branches of these administrations, the status quo has been preserved.

Gedu Andargachew, Dessie Dalkie, Muktar Kider of Amhara, Southern, and Oromia regional states, respectively, remain presidents. The most embattled among them, Abay Weldu of Tigray Regional State, was re-elected late last week as a president despite persistent speculations regarding his desire to be relieved of his position as chief of the regional administration, while remaining chairman of the party, claims gossip.

Traditionally, the EPRDFites are averse to the thought of having more than one power centre whether it is in the federal or regional structures, gossip noted. They are fearful of its weakening impact within their rank and file, claims gossip. However, that is what they are confronted with in one of their satellite parties in Afar Regional State, where leaders of the governing Afar National Democratic Party (ANDP) are contending over the issue of establishing the current president as chief of the regional state, gossip disclosed.

The longest serving chairman of ANDP, and chief of the regional state, Ismael Ali Sero, has been elected to the federal parliament, leaving behind the party’s top position to Taha Ahmed, his close ally from Dalol area and former head of the region’s civil service reform office. Awol Araba of Awsi Zone, a central committee member of the ANDP and once head of the region’s Pastoralist Development Bureau, appears to have been temporarily entrusted with the presidency of the Afar Region, gossip disclosed.

Pretty much the EPRDFites are now to focus on picking up nominations for the various cabinet positions in the federal government, gossip disclosed. A nomination committee, chaired by Hailemariam Desalegn, has begun receiving names, while at the same time work is underway in restructuring the composition of his cabinet. Gossip finds it too early to tell the details of these processes, although a change of guard is expected in the ministries of Federal Affairs, Finance & Economic Development, Industry, Agriculture and Civil Service, gossip anticipates.

The consequences of what could amount to a “sweeping reshuffling” will pass many senior party bigwigs on the breeze, but the party cannot ignore their services over the years, claims gossip. Never mind that those in the gossip corridors are complaining about many of the nation’s diplomatic missions abroad turned into an attractive retirement accommodations; it will continue to be the case that many of the top guys relieved off office in the federal government and regional states will be dispatched to these missions as special envoys and ambassadors, gossip foresees.

To make room for newly appointed diplomats, last week saw the recall of close to 10 senior diplomats back to the foreign office, gossip disclosed. One such likely opening gossip anticipates is the mission in London, where Brehanu Kebede, the able and highly revered ambassador and a career diplomat, is expected to retire soon, claims gossip.

Taye Askesellasie, a director of American Affairs, is to get dispatched to Washington, D.C. as an ambassador; he had served as a consular general in Los Angeles in the 2000s, gossip disclosed.

Speculation at the gossip corridors is rife on the replacement of Brehane G. Kirstos as state minister for Foreign Affairs. He will possibly be sent back to a mission abroad as a special emissary. Brehane, the nation’s top serving diplomat, is known to have been a close confidant of the late Prime Minister and is just as close to the current Prime Minister, claims gossip. Getachew Reda, an advisor to Hailemariam and elected to the central committee of the TPLF for the first time, may become a state minister in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where he has had some time in the past working at an expert level, claims gossip.

Published on Sep 28,2015 [ Vol 16 ,No 804]



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