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Ethiopia parliament elects new president Dr Mulatu Teshome Wirtu,


The state-run TV in Ethiopia has announced today that the current Ethiopian Ambassador to Turkey, Dr. Mulatu Teshome Wirtu, has been appointed as the new President of Ethiopia. Ethiopia's parliament elected Mulatu Teshome to be the country's new president Monday, for a six-year term in a largely symbolic and ceremonial post.
"Following the opening of the new parliament, a joint session of the House of Representatives and House of Federation elected Ambassador Dr. Mulatu Teshome as the President of Ethiopia," the foreign ministry said in a statement.While officially head of state, real power rests in the hands of the Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn.
 
Mulatu, 57, who was Ethiopia's ambassador to Turkey until his appointment, replaces 88-year old Girma Wolde Giorgis, who first took the post in 2001 and was reelected in 2007.  "I feel honoured to be the fourth president of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia," Mulatu said after taking the oath of office, and vowing to fulfil "the country's development strategies." Mulatu, who like all Ethiopia is known by his first name, comes from the Oromo people, the country's largest ethnic group. He has also served as Ethiopia's ambassador to China and Japan as well as Ethiopia's Minister of Agriculture.
Ethiopia's parliament is dominated by the ruling party, with only one opposition member.  Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn himself took office in September 2012, a month after the death of long-time ruler Meles Zenawi.

Details of Ethiopia's president Mulatu Teshome education in Beijing

By Zhang Junmian, beijing.china.org.cn

Mulatu Teshome's election as Ethiopia's new president on October 7 has created a sensation at two prestigious Beijing-based universities which were the cradle of the outstanding statesman.

In 1976, Teshome came to China for the first time. As a government-funded student, he studied at Beijing Language and Culture University (BLCU) for one year and then moved on to Peking University, where he successively obtained his BA, MA, and PhD degrees.

Mulatu Teshome at Beijing Language and Culture University (BLCU) in 1976 [File photo]

"He [Teshome) was more mature and diligent than his peers when studying at BLCU. He also showed great respect for all teachers." Zhao Yupin, an associate professor from BLCU, recalled.

Zhao taught Teshome essential Chinese language courses when the young man was there to learn Chinese in 1976. BLCU is a university specialized in teaching the Chinese language and culture to foreign students.

Zhao, who was deeply impressed by Teshome, added, "He was active and brave in expressing himself in class. He used to finish his homework on time and would ask me questions on whatever he didn't understand."

Teshome made rapid progress in learning Mandarin Chinese and soon got acquainted with his new environment. The cheerful student made a lot of Chinese friends. In his spare time, he would often stroll around the streets, have a beer and a chat with his Chinese classmates.

The student, who got familiar with Beijing's hutongs during this time, developed a strong interest in Chinese history and culture.

In 1977, Teshome went on to study at Peking University, where he stayed for 14 years -- until 1991. He obtained his bachelor's degree in Philosophy of Political Economy in 1982. From 1985 to 1991, he received his master's and doctor's degrees in International Law under the supervision of Zhao Baoxu, a well-established Chinese political scientist.

In 1991, 34-year-old Teshome returned to Ethiopia and started his political career as a counselor in the country's Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In the mid-1990s, he served as deputy minister of Economic Development and Cooperation. In 2001, he was appointed minister of Agriculture and Rural Development. He was a speaker of the House of Federation from 2002 to 2005, and also served as Ethiopia's ambassador to several countries, including Australia, Japan and China.

Teshome was the Ethiopian ambassador to Turkey until his election as his homeland's new president for a six-year term.

The man, dubbed "China's old friend," made great contributions to strengthening the relationship between Ethiopia and China.

A banner hangs high on the Beijing Language and Culture University (BLCU) campus to convey the school's congratulations to Mulatu Teshome on his election as Ethiopia's new president on October 7. [File photo]

When BLCU celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2012, Teshome conveyed his congratulations to his alma mater in a letter. He wrote how he loved China, his second home. He would pay more visits to China in the future in order to deepen the friendship between both countries.

"I have a wish and that is that I can send my son to study at BLCU, my alma mater, in the near future, to further consolidate and strengthen the ties of friendship between us," Teshome said.

His son once told him, "I will go and study in China when I grow up and pursue my doctor's degree at Peking University just like you did."

Source: http://sodere.com/profiles/blogs/ethiopian-president-educated-in-beijing

 

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