Ethiopia begins looking for a replacement to Prime Minister Meles Zenawi
July 19, 2012, Paris (rfi) – Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zinawi was hospitalized in serious condition Wednesday, July 18 in Brussels, according to diplomatic sources. The spokesman for the government, Shimeles Kemal, denied the report, but it is now almost ten days since Meles Zenawi has not been seen at a public event. He was notably absent from the summit of Heads of State of the African Union in Addis Ababa last weekend.
For over 20 years Meles Zenawi heads Ethiopia with an iron hand, since the fall of the communist Derg military junta in 1991. His absence could jeopardize the entire balance of the scheme.
Under the Constitution, in the absence of the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister takes over. And indeed, for 15 days, Hailemariam Desalegn plays the game.
But there are rumors that it would be a puppet. It would be really the office of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) that is pulling the strings. This party, founded by Meles Zenawi under the Derg regime, is the largest component of the ruling coalition.
The name of Berhane Gebre-Christos particular, often returns. Discreet, very close to Meles Zenawi, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs has always been the ambassador of the TPLF, the era of guerrilla warfare against the Derg to today.
Since the fall of the Derg, the highest levels of power have always been the prerogative of people of Tigray, a region north of the country. For more cohesion, the TPLF might want to highlight someone from another region while maintaining its influence. Desalegn Hailemariam, former president of the Southern Nations region, would be as such, the ideal candidate.
Translated from French to English is by Google
Berhane GebreKristos becomes the de facto TPLF chief
July 19 (Ethiopian Review) – The top leadership of the ruling Tigray Peoples Liberation Front (TPLF) is honoring, for now, Meles Zenawi’s wish to select Berhane GebreKristos as the next party chief and prime minister, Ethiopian Review Intelligence Unit sources reported today. However, the appointment of Berhane, who is a close personal friend of Meles and currently Foreign Minister of State, is expected to face serious challenges from the other TPLF leaders once Meles is out for good, our sources added.
Despite Woyanne propaganda chief Bereket Simon’s blatant lie, Meles is currently in Brussels at St. Luc University Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit (ICU) on the second floor, an eyewitness told Ethiopian Review. Even if he feels better enough to return to Ethiopia, he is done as a leader.
There is also a strong suspicion that Meles in fact has been dead since Sunday, and that the TPLF regime is not announcing his death because they want to buy time until there is an agreement on a new leader.
Meanwhile, yesterday, Meles Zenawi’s wife Azeb Mesfin has obtained an Italian visa, a source in the Italian embassy informed Ethiopian Review. While Bereket Simon, Berhane GebreKristos, Teodros Adhanom and other friends are at Meles’s bedside, why is his wife Azeb traveling to Italy?