Ethiopia's opposition leaders welcomes Abiy Ahmed's election

The announcement of Abiy Ahmed as the chairman of the ruling EPRDF coalition, is eliciting reaction from opposition figures in Ethiopia.

Yeshiwas Assefa, head of the opposition Blue Party, called on Mr Abiy to engage in "comprehensive dialogue... including the release of prisoners of conscious."

He added: "What must follow after that is reforming institutions that need reform to allow the public
to have a government that it chooses. That's what will solve all the problems. We believe that he [Mr Abiy] understands this.

"We hope he's up to the task. First there's been a better sense of understanding for the public's demands inside OPDO [the Oromo People's Democratic Union, of which Mr Abiy is the chairman]. Second guessing from various speeches he personally made, [Mr] Abiy seems to be someone who has a sympathetic view of those demands. We are now at a historic moment to see those hope[s] materialise. May God help him to carry out this historic responsibility."

Oromo activist Jawar Mohammed, who is based in the US, congratulated Mr Abiy in a Facebook post, saying that he's earned "a unique opportunity."

He added: "The opportunity offers him [a] unique scenario to charter [a] peaceful transition to democracy in Ethiopia."


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