Ethiopia set to place two-term limit on prime ministers

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Ethiopia’s government is working on legislation to place a two-term limit on the prime ministerial position, new PM Abiy Ahmed said on Friday.

Speaking to civil and political leaders in Hawasa city, Ahmed said a term limit is needed to strengthen Ethiopia’s democracy and ensure a peaceful transition of power in a country where the PM holds more power than the President.

Ethiopia working on two-term limit

The introduction of a two-term limit in Ethiopia would mean PMs can serve no more than two five-year terms in power, needing to run again after their first term is completed. Abiy Ahmed is Ethiopia’s 12th prime minister and could become the first to rule under the limit if the constitutional changes go ahead as planned.

Ahmed’s predecessor, Hailemariam Desalegn was in power for six years before handing in his resignation earlier this year. Before him, Meles Zenawi held the position of Prime Minister in Ethiopia for 17 years, from 1995 until his death in 2012.

Recently appointed Abiy Ahmed says prime ministers will no longer be able to pursue a lifetime in power.

“Any leader of the country will not serve in office beyond two terms following the amendment to the constitution. Seizing power for a lifetime has come to a dead end in Ethiopia,” he was quoted by the state-run Ethiopian News Agency.

Featured image: Twitter

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.