Roundup: Ethiopian parliament declares day of mourning for late president Gidada

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ADDIS ABABA, May 4 (Xinhua) -- The Ethiopian House of People's Representatives (HoPR) on Saturday declared a national day of mourning on Monday to honor former president Negasso Gidada.

Gidada, who was the east African country's president from 1995 to 2001, died at the age of 76 last Saturday while receiving treatment in Germany.

The decision was announced by Tagesse Chafo, speaker of HoPR, Ethiopia's lower house of parliament.

As part of the national day of mourning, Ethiopia's flag will be 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's body arrived in Ethiopia in the early hours of Saturday as Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, other senior government officials and thousands of citizens gathered at the Addis Ababa Bole International Airport to pay homage to the late president.

The late Ethiopian president, who also served as an HoPR member, studied history in Germany.

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 is mainly known for his contribution as chairman of the Ethiopian Constitutional Assembly, which adopted the current Ethiopian constitution back in 1995.

He served as minister of information during at Ethiopia's transitional government in the 1990s.

Gidada, who stepped down from the presidency, 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. Enditem

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