The PM resigned from the head position in Africa’s second most populous nation this afternoon after much speculation.
The prime minister leads the nation under Ethiopia’s political system and Hailemariam’s decision to quit underscores the depth of division within the ruling coalition over how fast to pursue political openness.
It was not clear who would replace Hailemariam, who also resigned as chairman of the ruling coalition that contains four parties representing Ethiopia’s ethnic groups and has governed the country since it defeated a military regime in 1991.
“Unrest and a political crisis have led to the loss of lives and displacement of many,” Hailemariam said in a televised speech.
“I see my resignation as vital in the bid to carry out reforms that would lead to sustainable peace and democracy.”
Hundreds of people died in Ethiopia’s two most populous regions – Oromiya and Amhara in 2015 and 2016.