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PM appoints new deputy whips, senior officials
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD)

PM appoints new deputy whips, senior officials

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD) has appointed three deputy government whips who would represent his government for the remaining years of the current parliamentary term.

However, the PM is yet to announce the assignment of a new government whip or whether the incumbent retains his post until June 2020.

The three newly appointed deputy whips are among a total of 20 appointees announced by the PM on Tuesday November 27, 2018.

The new deputy whips are Gebregziabher Araya, Chane Shimeka and Chala Lemi, who will serve as deputies to Chief Whip Asmelash Woldeselassie.

According to a statement issued by the Office of the Prime Minister, the new appointees will have a rank of a State Minister.

Among the other appointees, Ambachew Mekonnen (PhD) of the Amhara Democracy Party (ADP), who is credited for being one of the active forces spearheading the current reform in the country along with Gedu Andargachew, Demeke Mekonnen, Lemma Megersa and the current PM, has been selected for an advisory role at the Office of the Prime Minister as Infrastructure and Urban Development Advisor with a ministerial portfolio.

His appointment ends months-long public speculation after he was excluded from the PM’s newly re-formed cabinet last month despite rumors that he was included before the announcement of the current cabinet.

Another appointment also includes, Motuma Mekassa – whom the PM first assigned as Minister of Defense before being replaced last month – and Tesfahun Gobezai is selected as the National Security Advisor to the Prime Minister.

It is to be recalled that earlier this month, the House of People’s Representatives (HPR) rejected Motuma’s appointment as Chair to a Standing Committee after being nominated by the House Speaker.

The other appointment is that of Ahmed Hamza who has taken over the Director General’s role of MetEC while, Awel Abdi became his deputy. Hamza and Awel’s have seen a series of [at least for the third time in seven months] management change since the coming to power of PM Abiy.

Other appointments include: Kebede Yimam (as Deputy Commissioner of Environment, Forest and Climate Change), Azezew Chane (as Deputy Commissioner of Customs), Mulugeta Beyene (as Deputy Commissioner of Customs), Tsigereda Kifle (as Director General of the Federal HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control Office or HAPCO), Yamrot Andualem (as Deputy Director General of Armawer Hassen Research Institute), Mizan Kiros (PhD)(Director General of Ethiopian Health Insurance Agency), Hamid Keniso (as Deputy Director General of Documents Authentication and Registration Agency) and Misrak Mamo (Deputy Commissioner of Customs).

In addition to these, the newly restructured Refugee and Returnee Affairs Agency has a new Director General in the form of Kebede Chanie who has been a Minister of Trade, Federal Affairs and Pastoralist Development, and the Director General of Ethiopian Revenue and Custom Authority (ERCA).