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South regional Council to name new president

The regional council of the southern region is set to name a new regional president upon the removal of the current president Million Mathewos, sources confirmed to The Reporter. The council is congregating after eight months since the last one that reviewed the question of Sidama for statehood. The meeting kicks off today and lasts four days.

Million became head of the regional state replacing Dessie Dalke a year ago. Sources say that he will now assume a position at the Secretariat of the Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) with the rank of a minister. Million is also deputy chair of the EPRDF member party, the Southern Ethiopia People Democratic Movement (SEPDM), a position he took on replacing Siraj Fegessa.

In a similar move, SEPDM passed four members of its executive council with a warning including Abraham Marshallo, Getahun Garedew (PhD) and Kifle Gebremariam, while demoting Dessie Dalke to the central committee from his current seat in the executive committee.

Sources also indicated that Meles Alemu, a former Minister of Energy and Petroleum, is a candidate for the regional presidency. Meles, who hails from Hadiya zone, is now serving as a coordinator for democratic affairs at the EPRDF secretariats.

The Council is also set to approve the budget for the fiscal year which is proposed to be 40 billion birr. It was an issue of discussion among the public as the fiscal year has already begun without approving a budget.

In related news, the Hawassa city has appointed a new deputy mayor, Tiratu Beyene, who will serve as a de facto mayor of the regional capital, which was rocked by violence and unrest some time ago in connection to the constitutional request by the sidama zone council to gain regional statehood.