UDJ elects new president

January 4, 2014

Engineer Gizachew Shiferaw
Engineer Gizachew

The Reporter – The Unity for Democracy and Justice party (UDJ), a member of the six-party front, Medrek, has elected the the seasoned politician, Gizachew Shiferaw (Eng.), to be its new president.

At the general assembly held last week members listened to a report from the outgoing president, Negasso Gidada (Ph.D.), and discussed the achievements of the past three years under his leadership. The meeting on Sunday was specially arranged to elect a new leader, and Gizachew emerged victorious to lead the party for the foreseeable future.

Following an intensive campaign on social media, Girma Seifu, the lone opposition parliamentarian, was expected to do well in the voting, yet Gizachew eased to victory with a comprehensive margin of 227 votes to 29.  In the aftermath, Girma was quick to congratulate the president elect on his Facebook page.

A chemical engineer, Gizachew was politically active in both the 2005 and 2010 national elections, first for the Coalition for Unity and Democracy (CUD) and subsequently for the UDJ. He became known for his strong leadership abilities, especially in the CUD where he faced detainment following the 2005 election. He served as the vice president of the party under the presidency of Birtukan Mideksa. Following the 2010 election, however, Gizachew maintained a low profile in the Ethiopian political scene.

VOA’s report