Predictions: The Prime Minister of Ethiopia

This is akin to my old Nigeria thread.

The Prime Minister of Ethiopia (Meles Zenawi) has not been publicly seen since mid-June when he missed an international conference (very uncharacteristic of him). Since then there’s been health rumors spreading that range from mild illness to fatal illness to he’s already dead. The Ethiopian government has kept very quiet about all of this except to say that “he’s a bit ill”, “he’s still in control”, and that “he’s improving”. However, in realty no one knows the real score; also if this was just a minor illness (the government’s line) it would only take one tv/radio interview of Zenawi alive to stop the rumors…

This seems to have a very similar ring to it. [ul]
[li]In 2010, Nigeria’s Yar’Adua administration soldiered despite being handicapped by a secretly comatose/dying leader for months (before the Vice president Goodluck Jonathan finally was able to wrestle power away from Yar’Adua’s men). *see my above thread[/li][li]The president of Malawi Binguwa Mutharika had fallen ill in late 2011 but his government refused to acknowledge it (saying he was on “holiday”) until he died a few months later.[/li][li]In late April, Eritrea’s President Isaias Afewerki went on national TV to dispel rumors about his untimely death.[/li][/ul]So, what do you think? Do you think Zenawi is alive, dead, seriously ill? If he dies how is this gonna play out for Africa’s second most populous country? Will there be an orderly transition of power or will everything go to pot?

My own guess to Zenawi’s ill health is a big ??? but I say that it MUST be serious if he can’t even make a quick 15 min appearance on TV to dispel rumours of his death.

Unless his enemies control the TV station. :slight_smile:

I need to make a note about this guy for next year’s Death Pool, just in case he lives to the end of the year.

Here’s a good book on the subject of impaired leaders:

The authors make the point that ill bigwigs often get WORSE medical care than common folk, because of doctors chosen more for their political reliability/discretion than medical skill, manueverings among their top advisors, being forced to keep up a wearying pace of public duties, etc.

You could always claim him for 2013 and explain that he died retroactively. :slight_smile:

To put all rumours to rest.