ADDIS ABABA – The Southern Nations Nationalities and Peoples (SNNP) Regional Council has elected Ristu Yirdaw as a regional president and endorsed a new cabinet.
Ristu led the region with a rank of Deputy President after replacing the former governor, Million Mathios, in Sept 2019.
The ruling Prosperity Party, which nominated Ristu to govern the region, won all but 16 of the 261 seats at the regional council in the June 21 election.
The president was sworn in during the first ever meeting of the newly formed Council held in the City of Hawassa.
Before appointing the President, the Council has also appointed Mrs. Fate Sermolon and Nigatu Dansa, as speaker and deputy speaker of the House, respectively.
In the afternoon session, the Council approved a bill that restructured twenty five regional bureaus and concluded its session endorsing 20 officials who will serve as cabinet and lead various institutions.
The President, who nominated the officials, said his cabinet does not include the South Western People who voted earlier this week in a referendum to decide on whether they will remain with the SNNP Regional state.
The result of the referendum is yet to be made official by the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia.
The president said he chose not to nominate officials from North Western part of the region saying they will be forming a new regional state.
Ristu has, however, included three senior members of two opposition parties – Ethiopian Citizens for Social Justice Party (EZEMA) and Ethiopian Social Democratic Party – in his cabinet.
Accordingly, Dr. Ongayo Oda has been appointed as Head of the Labor and Social Affairs Bureau while Lomba Demssie will be in charge of the Public Enterprises’ Supervision Bureau of the region.
Temesgen Feyissa, on the other hand, will serve as deputy director of Policy Studies Bureau of the region.
The appointment of the 20 officials was approved by a majority vote, with 10 members voting against while three others abstained.