Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn suddenly resigned on 15 February 2018 in what he described as a bid to smooth reforms, following years of violent unrest that threatened the ruling party’s hold on Africa’s second most populous nation. The prime minister leads the nation under Ethiopia’s political system and Hailemariam’s resignation underscores the depth of division within the ruling coalition over how fast to pursue political reform.
He would stay on as prime minister in a caretaker capacity until the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) and the country’s parliament named a new premier. The ruling coalition has accepted his resignation. It was not immediately clear when a new premier was to be announced. The party is scheduled to hold a congress next month.
It was not clear who would replace Hailemariam, who also resigned as chairman of the ruling coalition that contains four parties representing Ethiopia’s ethnic groups and has governed the country since it defeated a military regime in 1991.