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Meles Zenawi

Personal data
Date of birth08 May 1955(age 60)
Place of birthAdwa, Tigray, Ethiopia
Political partyTigrayan People's Liberation Front as part of the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front coalition.
SpouseAzeb Mesfin
ReligionOrthodox Christian
Prime Minister of Ethiopia
Assumed office23 August 1995
PresidentNegasso Gidada
Girma Wolde-Giorgis
Preceded byTamirat Layne
President of Ethiopia
In office28 May 1991 - 22 August 1995
Prime ministerTesfaye Dinka
Tamirat Layne
Succeeded byNegasso Gidada
Preceded byTesfaye Gebre Kidan
Member of the House of Peoples' Representatives for Adewa Town
Assumed office1995

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Meles Zenawi Asres (Ge'ez መለስ ዜናዊ አስረስ Mäläs Zenawi Äsräs; born 8 May 1955) is the Prime Minister of Ethiopia. Since 1985, he has been chairman of the Tigrayan Peoples' Liberation Front (TPLF), and is currently head of the ruling Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF).

Meles was born in Adwa, Tigray in Northern Ethiopia, to an Ethiopian father from Adwa, Ethiopia, and a mother from Adi Quala, Eritrea. He graduated from the General Wingate high school in Addis Ababa, then studied medicine at Addis Ababa University (at the time known as Haile Selassie University) for two years before interrupting his studies in 1975 to join the TPLF. While a member of the TPLF, he founded the Marxist-Leninist League of Tigray.His first name at birth was "Legesse" (thus Legesse Zenawi Ge'ez: ለገሰ ዜናዊ legesse zēnāwī) but he is better known by his nom de guerre Meles. He later changed his first name to "Meles" in honor of a University student and a revolutionary radical who was executed by the previous government in 1975.

The TPLF was one of many armed groups struggling against the dictator, Lieutenant Colonel Mengistu Hailemariam. Zenawi was elected Leader of the Leadership Committee in 1979 and Leader of the Executive Committee in 1983. He has been the chairperson of both the TPLF and the EPRDF since the EPRDF assumed power at the end of the Ethiopian Civil War. He was president of the Transitional Government of Ethiopia (TGE), during which Eritrea seceded from the country and the experiment of ethnic federalism started.

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