Ethiopia's PM retains NEPAD leadership despite challenge

Kampala- Uganda (PANA) -- Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, one of Africa's most visible leaders, automatically retained the leadership of the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) despite a silent opposition to his three-year term at the helm of the institution.
''The issue of his chairmanship was not raised at all during the meeting.
He (Me les) will automatically retain the leadership,'' a senior official, who attended the Heads of State Implementation Committee meeting here Saturday, told PANA.
The official, who cannot be identified because he was not authorised to divulge the details of the meeting, said there were no public objections to a tenure ext e nsion for the Ethiopian leader during the NEPAD leader's meeting.
Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade had been expected to challenge Prime Ministe r Meles for the position.
''There is concern that the he (Meles) has served a three-year term.
He is also involved in several committees of the African Union.
We feel he should give up s o me of the responsibilities,'' a Nigerian Foreign Ministry official said.
Another official from an East African nation said the plan by President Wade to oust Meles was a result of old rivalry between the two leaders, adding that the S enegalese leader had previously argued with his Ethiopian counterpart.
The high-profile battle for the leadership of the NEPAD Heads of State Implement ation Committee, whose name has been changed to the NEPAD Orientation Committee, has often ignited controversy at the African Union Summit.
During the January 2010 Summit in Addis Ababa, President Wade tussled with Libya n leader Muammar Kadhafi, who recommended the disbandment of the panel of African leaders steering the NEPAD activities, saying its role w as not clear and that it duplicated the role of the AU Summit.
The Libyan Leader also derided the holding of a series of separate Summits befor e the main AU Summit, saying it was a waste of time.

24 july 2010 17:53:00

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