Roundup: Ethiopians bid farewell to late former president Gidada

Source: Xinhua| 2019-05-06 22:47:12|Editor: yan
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ADDIS ABABA, May 6 (Xinhua) -- Ethiopians on Monday held a national day of mourning to remember the living legacies of the late former president Negasso Gidada.

As part of the national day of mourning, Ethiopia's flag on Monday are flown at half-mast throughout the country, as well as at Ethiopian embassies, consular offices and Ethiopian-owned ships outside the country's territory.

Gidada, who was the east African country's head of state from 1995 to 2001, died at the age of 76 on April 27 while receiving medical treatment in Germany.

Gidada's body, which arrived in Ethiopia on Saturday, was laid to rest on Sunday in a state funeral as senior Ethiopian government officials, including Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, President Sahle-Work Zewde, family members and relatives of Gidada, as well as tens of thousands of citizens held vigil to the veteran Ethiopian politician at the Addis Ababa Millennium Hall.

Among Gidada's legacy in addition to his six years of presidency role, also include his contribution as chairman of the Ethiopian Constitutional Assembly, which adopted the current Ethiopian Constitution back in 1995.

The former president, who was the minister of information during Ethiopia's transitional government in the 1990s, was also a member of the Ethiopian House of People's Representatives (HoPR), the lower house of the Ethiopian parliament.

President Zewde said during the funeral ceremony on Sunday that Gidada was remembered as "an honest person with immense contribution for the best of his country."

"Gidada fought for the freedom and equality of Ethiopians, and to the promotion of democracy in Ethiopia towards creating a better and unified Ethiopia," Zewde added.

Zewde, who hailed Gidada's patriotism and love to his country, also urged Ethiopians from all walks of life to emulate Gidada's patriotic character to the betterment of the country.

A veteran politician, Gidada was a member of the Oromo Democratic Party (ODP), one of the four parties of Ethiopia's ruling coalition, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Front (EPRDF).

Gidada stepped down from the presidency in 2001, and was succeeded by Girma Wolde-Giorgis, who died in December last year at the age of 94.

Wolde-Giorgis, after serving two consecutive terms as president of Ethiopia since 2001, stepped down in 2013 and was succeeded by former President Mulatu Teshome, who resigned in October 2018.

On Oct. 25, 2018, Ethiopia elected its first female president, Sahle-Work Zewde, following the resignation of Teshome.