The Executive Committee of Ethiopia’s ruling coalition, the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), has finally accepted the resignation of Abadula Gemeda as Speaker of the House of Peoples’ Representatives.
The former Oromia State premier cited lack of respect for his people as the main reason for his decision but continued to hold his post as a lawmaker. The resignation of Gemeda in October this year came as a shock to most political watchers in the country.
His decision came in the wake of an escalation in deadly violence between Oromia and Ethiopia-Somali regional states. The crisis which has ethnic underpinnings and battle for resource control led to deaths, massive displacement of people with federal security forces blamed for their complicity.
The government did not immediately accept his decision with Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn stating that there were talks ongoing to have Gemeda rescind his decision. “We will be happy if he reconsiders his decision,” PM Hailemariam said at the time.
Since submitting his resignation, the 59-year-old has not presided over proceedings in the parliament. He was, however, part of a group of Oromo and Amhara MPs who recently boycotted sittings over a security crisis in the Oromia region.
Gemeda’s resignation was followed by that of another top official, Bereket Simon – then a policy analyst to the premier. Desalegn in speaking on the resignations dispelled claims that they were connected.
According to him, the two needed to be taken in context. The government accepted that of Simon – a former information minister who Desalegn said had severally asked to quit in the past but had been talked out of it.