Ethiopia: Parliament votes to new ministers, judges

Ethiopia’s parliament on Tuesday approved the appointment of several key ministers and judicial officers.

The House of Peoples’ Representatives, the lower chamber of Ethiopia’s parliament, endorsed the appointments of Kenea Yadeta as defense minister, Gedion Timothewos as attorney general, Takele Umma as minister of mines and petroleum, and Samuel Hurkato as minister of science and higher education minister.

Lawmakers approved the candidates, nominated by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed last month, with a majority vote during an emergency session.

They also greenlit the appointment of 40 judges to the Federal High Court and 50 judges to the Federal First Instance Court, according to local broadcaster Fana.

Legislators are also expected to discuss the health minister’s report on Ethiopia’s COVID-19 response.

In the report submitted last week, Lia Tadesse suggested that the East African country was now in a position to hold its 6th parliamentary elections.

The northern Tigray region held polls two weeks ago, defying federal authorities and violating measures imposed as part of the COVID-19 state of emergency.

Ethiopia has extended the date for its parliamentary elections twice already, first due to threats of violence and instability and then because of the coronavirus pandemic.