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Ethiopia parliament elects new president
Dr Mulatu Teshome Wirtu,
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.
parliament elected Mulatu Teshome to be the country's new president
Monday, for a six-year term in a largely symbolic and ceremonial
"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
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
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.
parliament is dominated by the ruling party, with only one
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
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
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.
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
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,
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
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
in the future in order to deepen the friendship between both
"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."