Ethiopia‘s parliament has named Sahle-Work Zewde as the country’s first woman president.
In a unanimous vote on Thursday during the second Special Joint Session of Ethiopia’s two houses of parliament – the House of Peoples’ Representatives and the House of the Federation – lawmakers picked the career diplomat for the largely ceremonial role.
She will replace Mulatu Teshome who resigned in unclear circumstances and is expected to serve two six-year terms.
“Mulatu has shown us the way for change and hope, he has shown life continues before and after leaving power. I call on other to heed his example and be ready for change,” Sahle-Work said in a speech in parliament on Thursday.
According to Ethiopian law, the prime minister occupies the highest seat of power, but the position of president carries important symbolic weight and social influence.