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Ethiopian parliament names first-ever woman president

Sahle-Work Zewde, a top UN diplomat, replaces Mulatu Teshome, who resigned a year ahead of his term's end

Ethiopian parliament names first-ever woman president ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA - OCTOBER 25 : Ethiopia's first female President Sahle-Work Zewde delivers a speech following the handover ceremony at the Parliament in Addis Ababa on October 25, 2018. ( Minasse Wondimu Hailu - Anadolu Agency )

By Addis Getachew


Ethiopian Parliament on Thursday named Sahle-Work Zewde as the first woman president of the country, replacing Mulatu Teshome.

The top diplomat resigned her post as the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the UN Office to the African Union.

Zewde became the 4th president since 1995 -- after Negasso Gidada, Girma Woldegiorgis and Mulatu Teshome.

Her appointment came in unanimous vote during the second Special Joint Session of the two houses of parliament: House of Peoples’ Representatives and the House of the Federation.

The parliament approved Zewde's appointment as president with the unanimous vote, hence making her Ethiopia’s first woman president.

The position of the president is however more of a ceremonial and less of an executive power, according to Ethiopian law.

The highest executive powers belong to the prime minister, who is also commander in chief of the armed forces.

Zewde also served as the head of the UN's office in Kenya and has a long diplomatic profile, serving as Ethiopia's ambassador to numerous countries at various times.

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