Sahlework Zewde Appointed as First Female President of Ethiopia


The long-serving diplomat Ambassador Sahlework Zewde is appointed today as president of the federal democratic republic of Ethiopia in the country’s history.

Ambassador SahleWork Zewde has just been sworn in to become the fifth, and the first female president, since the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front came to power in 1991.

Today a joint extraordinary session approved the resignation request by Ethiopia’s President Mulatu Teshome, who has served in the post for the last five years and appointed Sahle Work to be head of state of Nation.

Mulatu, who has been the country’s president since October 2013, announced his letter of resignation on Wednesday.

Following the appointment, the newly elected president takes over power from the former president.

Prior to her new post, Sahlework Zewde was Special Representative of United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres to the African Union and Head of the United Nations Office to the African Union at the level of Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations.

She was also previously posted in Senegal, Djibouti, France and other countries and International organizations representing Ethiopian.

The former president is Mulatu Teshome, took office on 7 October 2013 and resigned today for unknown reasons.

Presidents are elected by the House of Peoples’ Representatives for six years, with a two-term limit.

The position is largely a ceremonial one, with executive power effectively being exercised by the Prime Minister of Ethiopia.

Abiy recently appointed a new cabinet, with half of all posts going to women.

Mulatu is the third president of Ethiopia since it formally adopted multiparty politics and a new constitution in 1995. The two former presidents were Negasso Gidada who served from 1995 to 2001 and Girma Wolde-Giorgis who served from 2001 to 2013.

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