Ethiopian P.M. Desalegn still not sworn in

Sept. 7, 2012 at 7:40 PM

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, Sept. 7 (UPI) -- The failure of Ethiopia's Parliament to swear in acting Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn has created uncertainty about the country's future, officials say.

Desalegn was supposed to be officially sworn in Thursday following the death of late Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, but the ruling Ethiopian People's Democratic Front delayed the appointment, Bikyamasr.com reported.

Zenawi, who came to power in the 1990s, died Aug. 20.

The delay has led some to think there is conflict within the EPRDF, as people say Zenawi's death should be used as an opportunity to move the country toward democracy.

"I say today is the perfect time for all Ethiopians to bury the hatchet of ethnic division, religious sectarianism, regional conflict and human rights violations," Ethiopian political thinker and Professor Alemayehu G. Mariam wrote in an opinion article earlier this week. "It is the perfect time to shake hands, embrace each other and get our noses to the grindstone to build a new democratic Ethiopia where the rule of law is upheld and human rights and democratic institutions respected."

Meanwhile, some citizens say they would just like the issue resolved.

"We just want to move forward and get things back on track," a shopkeeper in Addis Ababa told Bikyamasr.com.

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