Former President of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia Negasso Gidada (Ph.D.) has died today at the age of 75. It was reported that the former president had been ill for a while and was receiving medical attention in a hospital in Germany. He is the second president who died this year next to Girma Woldegiorgis.
The former president was an active member of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) while he was in Europe. Negasso had been Minister of Information in the Transitional Government of Ethiopia and Central Committee member of the Oromo People’s Democratic Organisation (OPDO) when he became president on 22 August 1995. He left office when his term expired on 8 October 2001. Before the end of his term, he was expelled from both the OPDO and the EPRDF coalition on 22 June.
In the 2005 general elections, Negasso was elected to the Ethiopian House of People’s Representatives as an independent from Dembidolo in the Mirab Welega Zone of the Oromia Region. He was fighting the EPRDF regime together with several opposition parties.
Negasso was known for his tireless work to build democracy in Ethiopia since the young age.
The Office of the Prime Minister Ethiopia on its twitter said “It is with deep regrets that we share the passing of former FDRE President, H.E. Dr. Negasso Gidada. PM Abiy Ahmed extends his condolences to the people of Ethiopia and his family. A national committee to oversee the funeral arrangements is being established & will share details.”
Dr. Negasso was married to Regina Abelt, a German nurse and midwife. Being the First Lady of Ethiopia while holding German Citizenship.