ADDIS ABABA: Former Ethiopian president Negasso Gidada has died in Germany where he was undergoing medical treatment for an unspecified illness, state broadcaster EBC reported on Saturday.
Negasso, who was 75, was president between 1995 and 2001 and was the first head of state after Ethiopia adopted a new constitution transforming the country into a federal state, with increased autonomy given to the different regions.
The role of president in Ethiopia is largely ceremonial, with the prime minister holding most of the power.
Before he stepped down in 2001, Negasso publicly fell out with the then prime minister, Meles Zenawi.
In 2015, Negasso was elected to parliament as an independent, but then joined the opposition three years later.
More recently, he was rehabilitated by the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), to which he was appointed an advisor in 2017. —AFP