Addis Ababa — Ethiopia’s parliament has approved senior diplomat Sahle-Work Zewde as the country’s first female president, proceedings on state television showed, cementing another shift in the country's political system from Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. Sahle-Work is, at present, UN under-secretary-general and special representative of the secretary-general to the African Union. She replaces Mulatu Teshome Wirtu, who tendered his resignation to parliament earlier on Wednesday. The president’s post is a ceremonial one in Ethiopia. The prime minister, who is the head of state, holds executive power. “In a historic move, the two houses have elected ambassador Shalework Zewde as the next president of #Ethiopia. She is the first female head of state in modern Ethiopia,” Fitsum Arega, Abiy’s chief of staff, said on Twitter. “In a patriarchal society such as ours, the appointment of a female head of state not only sets the standard for the future but also normalises women as decision-makers...

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