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Abiy speaks

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD) gave his first press conference to over 120 journalists at his office for the first time since he assumed his position. He answered various questions raised by the journalists that attended the press conference. On the press conference that stayed for 2 and half hour the PM mainly focused on political issues and current affairs. He also stated that he unlike previous heads of states will not meet the media frequently. He said that relevant officials from the PM office will give relevant information. Here are some of the major points he discussed;
The Federal Vs Tigray Police
The PM totally dismissed the issue that was circulating via some media that a federal police squad was arrested in Tigrai region. He said that the task force did their job and returned without any incident.
Regarding mega public enterprises privatization council he said that the advisory council is only selected to look at the process, while professionals will do the details. “A macro team is formed in regards to looking the process professionally, the advisory team is there to observe how it is done” he added.
Hard Currency
He stated that hard currency earning has been very weak than other growth. He claimed that the contraband, illegal tourism business and illegal remittance has contributed for the low hard currency earnings.
In relation with the call to exchange the hard currency in a legal manner he said that about five billion birr in cash has been returned into the system.
Rivalries between EPRDF
“There are no member parties of the EPRDF that stand against the reform but there are individuals who do not accept the reform because they want to continue on the statuesque and some others that are retired and excluded from the current system are the ones who are becoming obstacles.”
On Mengistu Hailemariam
“The current amnesty law does not include the red terror criminals according to the Constitution and the former leader of Ethiopia Mengistu Hailemariam (Col) will not get a pardon.”
“Salini has asked an additional compensation payment because the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam was delayed.”
Sugar Projects
“The sugar projects are taken from MetEC and we are looking to transfer it to private contractors to accelerate the construction of these projects.” He said that it is expected that about 50 percent of the sugar projects will be accomplished within the coming few months.
Sheik Mohamed Ali al Amoudi
Regarding Sheik Mohamed Ali al Amoudi he stated that he has been mentioned during a meeting with Saudi leaders when they came here. He further said that the issue is complicated. “We hope that we will see him recently here,” he added.
Asset Registration
Regarding the asset registration of officials he stated that he do not believe on the scheme since corrupted officials do not own assets on their name and affiliates.
2020 Election
The PM said that on his stand he don’t want to extend the election. The voting process should be automated to tackle election controversy.


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