Friday, July 27, 2007


Girma Wolde-Giorgis not too old to lead
old is gold

Girma Wolde-Giorgis born December 1924 in Addis Ababa (1917 as per the Ethiopian Calendar) is the President of Ethiopia. He was elected on October 8, 2001, as a relative unknown and a surprise choice, by a unanimous vote of the Ethiopian Parliament. The Ethiopian presidency is largely a symbolic office with little power. Presidents serve six-year terms. The president is independent of any political party in the country and would have no affiliation with any political party.

As reported by the BBC "UnKnown Elected Ethiopian President" "The elderly businessman-turned-politician has survived three successive regimes.

Under Emperor Haile Selassie, Lt. Girma served in various capacities at the Ethiopian Air Force and the Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority in the former province of Ethiopia, Eritrea, until his retirement in 1953 E.C., when he became member of the parliament.

Also under the emperor, he joined parliament and became president of the lower chamber.

In this role, he established the first international parliamentary committee and developed a flair for international relations.

When the military regime of Mengistu Haile Mariam overthrew the emperor in 1974, Lieutenant Wolde Giorgis worked with the "dergue" regime in many different roles including as president of the Red Cross in Eritrea, which was then a province of Ethiopia.

When the military dictatorship was overthrown in 1991 by the present day ruling EPRDF party, Lieutenant Wolde Giorgis embarked on several private business ventures.

He is now a stakeholder in several banks and is an independent MP in a constituency in the western Shoa region.

President Museveni of Uganda, President Wolde-Giorgis of Ethiopia and Prime Minister Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia

There was been a mixed reaction to the Lieutenant Wolde Giorgis becoming due to concerns over his age and comments that he looked too frail to assume the presidency.

BBC reported that political analysts considered Lieutenant Wolde Giorgis an "opportunist" for surviving and working under three totally opposing regimes in Ethiopia.

Most however remain apathetic, saying that the president does not really matter as his powers are largely ceremonial and so he could never bring about real change in the country.

Lieutenant Wolde Giorgis is from the majority Oromo ethnic group which make up more than 30% of Ethiopia's 63 million people.

The President of Ethiopia speaks Oromiffa, Amharic, Tigrigna, Italian, English and French.

He is married with five children.

Biography Girma Wolde Giorgis

Lieutenant Girma Wolde-Giorgis Elected President of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia

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