Ethiopia's Abay Woldu appointed chairmen of TPLF

September 13, 2012 — Amid a growing internal power struggle, Abay Woldu, the President of Tigray region of Ethiopia and a conservative Tigrayan nationalist, was appointed by senior officials to be the Chairmen of EPRDF TPLF.

The 59-year-old Tigrayan president was handpicked to his position by the late Prime Minister Meles Zenawi in an unpopular 2010 ministerial reshuffle that subsequently led to Abay wielding considerable authority and influence within the regime.

Abay's promotion comes hours after Ethiopia announced it promoted thirty-four colonels to the rank of brigadier general and three colonels to major generals, in what is believed to be the country's largest military promotion in over a decade.

Well-placed observers believe senior officials will attend a meeting in the capital, Addis Ababa, this weekend, to select a new Prime Minister. Due to external pressures from Washington, TPLF bigwigs are expected to appoint the current acting premier, Hailemariam Desalegn, to take over Meles' post.

*Updated 9:25 PM EST: Our source in Addis Ababa said Abay Woldu was appointed Chairmen of TPLF, not EPRDF, as we had originally reported. It was a misunderstanding on our part. We apologies for any inconveniences.

Abay Woldu, President of Tigray region and Chairmen of TPLF