Ethiopia advances economic and military reforms, unlikely to split ruling coalition before 2020 election

19 October 2018

Key Points

  • The cabinet reshuffle advanced the Ethiopian government’s stated economic and military reforms, which are unlikely to result in disaffected elements successfully deposing Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed by force.
  • The economic and military influence of senior members of the Amhara Democratic Party (ADP) – one of four parties comprising the ruling Ethiopian Revolutionary Front for Democracy (EPRDF) coalition – has increased. This indicates that ADP-affiliated commercial interests will face fewer constraints in accessing foreign exchange and credit provision from government-owned banks.
  • The legislative alliance between Prime Minister Ahmed’s Oromo Democratic Party (ODP) and the ADP, which together control 58% of the seats in the House of People’s Representatives (parliament), looks increasingly stable despite facing grassroots competition for the 2020 legislative elections.


Changes made in a cabinet reshuffle on 16 October indicate that Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed is centralising control over the security services and advancing the privatisation of state-owned enterprises. The ruling coalition’s member parties are now more likely to co-operate, helping them to dominate the 2020 legislative elections, with grassroots rivals unlikely to mount a significant challenge.

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