New Ethiopia leader's swearing in delayed for funeral of church leader

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, August 23, 2012: — Ethiopia has postponed the emergency session of parliament to swear in a new prime minister.

Acting Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn was to be sworn in Thursday following the death on Monday of longtime leader Meles Zenawi.

Officials in Ethiopia didn't immediately announce the reason for the delay, but most government leaders — including Hailemariam — attended the Thursday funeral of Abune Paulos, the head of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church.

The funeral for Meles, who ruled Ethiopia for 21 years, has not yet been set. Leaders from around the world are expected to attend.

Hailemariam is a relatively young figure on Ethiopia's political scene and it's not clear if old guard leaders will allow him to hold onto the prime minister's seat until 2015 elections.

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