Ethiopian president reelected for new six-year-term

October 10, 2007

ADDIS ABABA (AFP) -- The Ethiopian parliament on Tuesday reelected President Girma Wolde-Giorgis for an new six-year-term to his largely ceremonial post.

The raising of hands took place in the lower house of parliament in the presence of all the members of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi's government.
Girma, of the ruling Ethiopian Peoples Revolutionary Democratic Front, had already won the required two-thirds majority in an upper house vote.
""Girma Wolde-Giorgis was chosen as president to run the country for the next six years. He received 430 votes with 88 votes against and 11 abstentions,"" said Parliament Speaker Ambassador Teshome-Goga.
Addressing the house after the vote, Girma, who was first elected president in 2001, said he wanted ""yet again to strengthen the ties between government and our people.""
Girma, a Christian of Oromo ethnicity, was born in Addis Ababa in 1924. He is the married father of five and speaks French, English and Italian fluently in addition to several Ethiopian languages.
He entered the Ethiopian air force in 1946 before launching a long career in civilian aviation.
He was first elected to parliament in 1961 and held several official posts under the military-Marxist regime of Mengistu Haile Mariam (1974-1991).
Girma is Ethiopia's third president since Mariam's downfall.