Ethiopia approves new govt

2010-10-05 21:11

Addis Ababa - Ethiopia's parliament on Tuesday approved a 20-member government presented by Prime Minister Meles Zenawi a day after he was sworn in for a second term.

Key ministers who maintained their posts in the government, which saw 12 new entrants, include Berhane Hailu for justice, Defence Minister Siraj Fergessa, Federal Affairs Minister Shiferaw Guebre Mariam and Sufian Ahmed for finance.

Former foreign minister and veteran ruling party member Seyoum Mesfin was replaced by Haile Maryam Dessalegn, who also becomes the deputy prime minister.

"The parliament has approved the candidates and made solemn oath and appointment approved," government spokesperson Shimeles Kemal said.

Meles, who came to power in 1991 after toppling Mengistu Haile Mariam's communist junta following a 17-year war, was re-elected as head of his Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) coalition last month.

The EPRDF and its allies won more than 99% of parliament seats in the May 23 polls, but both the United States and the European Union have said the vote did not meet international standards.