The Ethiopian president, Mulatu Teshome submitted his resignation to parliament on Wednesday, according to state media reports.
His resignation comes amid a cabinet reshuffle that has seen almost half of the house occupied by women. Only four of the ministers remain in the reshuffle who were in the previous cabinet.
This is just one of Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed, reformative actions geared at uniting the polity in a country that has had to deal with years of upheavals and unrest. Abiy has also implemented a pact that ended a 20-year border war with neighbouring country, Eritrea.
Abiy Ahmed is Ethiopia’s youngest prime minister, aged 41, and is leading reforms to situate the country as a tech hub following its tech ban implemented by previous administrations. Since he assumed office in April, he has made radical changes in policy that have won the admiration of the international community and drawn some opposition from internal forces.
Some deem some of his actions as not showing a deep understanding of lingering political and cultural tensions in the country.
Before becoming the President in 2013, Mulatu served in some high government roles, acting as Ethiopia’s ambassador to Azerbaijan and Japan. He was unanimously selected as the president while visiting Turkey as an ambassador in 2013.
He resigns one-year shy of the end to his tenure and has always been a big advocate for democracy Ethiopia, the only African country to have never been colonized.
The joint extraordinary session of the Ethiopian parliament on Thursday ‘will deliberate on the president’s application for resignation and will elect a new president.’ said the state news media.
Ethiopia runs a parliamentary system of government and so the president is majorly a ceremonial head with no executive powers. The Prime Minister makes policy and executive decisions.
Both houses will decide after their seating on Thursday if the application for resignation will be accepted and who will replace him in the event it is.
Teshome is a member of Oromo Democratic Party, one of the four member parties of the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front.
Teshome is 63 years old and it is yet unclear what the exact reason is for the resignation. Perhaps policy differences between his office and the Prime Ministers might be one a possible reason.