Negasso Gidada

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Dr. Negasso Gidada
ዶ/ር ነጋሶ ጊዳዳ
Negaso gidada.png
2nd President of Ethiopia
In office
22 August 1995 – 8 October 2001
Prime MinisterMeles Zenawi
Vice PresidentTamrat Layne
Preceded byMeles Zenawi (Acting)
Succeeded byGirma Wolde-Giorgis
Minister of Labor and Social Affairs of Ethiopia
In office
Minister of Communication of Ethiopia
In office
Member of 1994 Ethiopian Constituent Assembly election
In office
5 June 1994 – December 1994
Advisory of Kunuz College
Assumed office
Member of the House of Peoples' Representatives for Dembidolo
In office
Founding Member of Medrek (founded on July 2008)
In office
July 2008 – 27 April 2019
Member, Deputy Chairperson and Head of Foreign Affairs of the Unity for Democracy and Justice (formed on 20 June 2008) under the Coalition of Medrek on 2009
In office
15 December 2009 – 27 April 2019
Personal details
Negasso Gidada Solon

(1943-09-08)8 September 1943
Dembidolo, Ethiopian Empire
Died27 April 2019(2019-04-27) (aged 75)
Frankfurt,[citation needed] Germany
Resting placePetros Paulos Evangelic Church
9°03′21″N 38°42′50″E / 9.055757°N 38.71399°E / 9.055757; 38.71399
Political partyEPRDF (until 22 June 2001)
Independent (2005–2008)
Unity for Democracy and Justice under Coalition of Medrek (2009-2019)
Spouse(s)Regina Abelt (from 1985)
Childrenson(1, Ibsa Negasso), daughter(2,Telile Negasso)
MotherDinse Sholi
FatherGidada Solon

Negasso Gidada Solon (Ge'ez: ነጋሶ ጊዳዳ Nägaso Gidada; 8 September 1943[1] – 27 April 2019) was an Ethiopian politician. He was the President of Ethiopia from 1995 until 2001.


Negasso was the son of Gidada Solon, one of the first local ministers of a Protestant church in the Dembidolo area in western Ethiopia.

Negasso held a doctorate in social history from the Goethe University in Frankfurt-am-Main and was a part-time lecturer of history at Addis Ababa University. The title of his doctoral thesis was "History of the Sayyoo Oromo of Southwestern Wallaga, Ethiopia, from about 1730 to 1886". He was married to Regina Abelt, a German nurse and midwife. Being the First Lady of Ethiopia while holding the German Citizenship earned Abelt considerable, yet unwanted, attention by the German and European tabloid press. In marked contrast, Regina Abelt was virtually invisible in Ethiopia and never enjoyed the official title of First Lady which was instead used by the wife of the Prime Minister.

Negasso died in Germany on 27 April 2019, after battling health issues.[2]

Political career[edit]

In Europe, he was an active member of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF).[3] 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.[4] 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.[5]

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.

In July 2008, Negasso became a founding member of the Forum for Democratic Dialogue (FDD), a new coalition of opposition parties and activists.[6] Then in November 2009, he announced he had joined the Unity for Democracy and Justice Party (UDJ), one of the eight parties in the FDD, "to try to unite Ethiopia".[7] At the time of his announcement, he also asked forgiveness from Ethiopians for deceiving them that Ethiopia's current constitution was ratified in 1995 with full participation of all political parties in a democratic manner. "There were a number of political parties that were excluded from the process," he said during the ceremony when he and Siye Abraha were officially inducted into the UDJ.[8]


  1. ^ David H. Shinn; Thomas P. Ofcansky (2013). Historical Dictionary of Ethiopia. Scarecrow Press. p. 306. ISBN 978-0-8108-7457-2.
  2. ^ "Former President of Ethiopia Negasso Gidada Passes Away Aged 75". UrduPoint. Retrieved 27 April 2019.
  3. ^ Yenegasso menged
  4. ^ "Monthly Situation Report for Ethiopia, August 1995" UNDP-EUE (accessed 20 January 2009)
  5. ^ "ETHIOPIA: President expelled from ruling party", IRIN, 25 June 2001.
  6. ^ "Opposition holds 'Forum for Democratic Dialogue in Ethiopia'", Sudan Times 3 July 2008 (accessed 16 November 2009)
  7. ^ "Ex-Ethiopia President Negasso Gidada joins opposition"
  8. ^ " Ethiopia: Two ex-senior government officials join opposition party" Archived 1 December 2009 at the Wayback Machine, Afrique en ligne website, published 26 November 2009 (accessed 22 December 2009)

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Meles Zenawi
President of Ethiopia
Succeeded by
Girma Wolde-Giorgis