FACTBOX-Who might succeed Ethiopia's PM Meles Zenawi?

Tue Aug 21, 2012 9:39am GMT
 

By Aaron Maasho

ADDIS ABABA Aug 21 (Reuters) - After weeks of absence, Ethiopia announced on Tuesday the death of long-serving Prime Minister Meles Zenawi after he succumbed to an undisclosed illness.

So who might succeed him? The Horn of Africa country has kept a tight lid on the affair but here are a few names that have been widely touted:

HAILEMARIAM DESALEGN

Soft-spoken and humble, yet politically shrewd is how some diplomats in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, describe the 47-year-old deputy to Meles.

A former university dean, Hailemariam will be sworn in as acting prime minister by parliament, before the ruling party holds a congress meeting to select a successor. A date has not yet been set.

Hailemariam quickly rose through the ranks when he turned to politics, serving as president of the Southern Nations, Nationalities and People's Region in the south west of the country from 2001 to 2006 prior to being named as an advisor to Meles.

His pick as Meles' deputy in 2010 was a major surprise, partly due to his relative young age. He is widely seen as the late leader's protege.   Continued...

 
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