Statement by Shiferaw Shigute about his resignation from chairperson of SPEDM

Shiferaw Shigute has resigned from his position as Chairperson of the Southern Ethiopian People’s Democratic Movement (SEPDM), a member party of the ruling coalition, because of recent unrest in that area of the country.

“It is my conviction that the movement has to elect new leader. But the main reason I decided to step down is the recent ethnic conflict in the region, which was catastrophic and really sad. I believe new blood is required to handle it,” he said at a press conference today.

After being elected SEPDM chair on Feb. 25, Shiferaw was one of three candidates to become Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front Chairperson in the March 27 vote that led to Abiy Ahmed becoming Prime Minister. “I am a supporter of the current reform. I have said in the past that fundamental change was needed. I am glad that is taking place now. For the change to successfully take place, new administration has to come to the forefront. That is the aspiration of the society. I need to respect that.”

There were ethnic-related protests and violence this month in the Sidama, Wolyta and Gurage zones in the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ Regional State (SNNPRS). Wolyta administrators resigned last week after a request from the reformist Prime Minister for officials to take responsibility for the unrest.

Shiferaw is Minister of Agriculture and Livestock and was President of SNNPRS from 2006 to 2013.
Ethiopian Obeserver

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