Ethiopia on Thursday said it will not support the re-election of its national Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus for a second term as director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO), accusing him of supporting a proscribed group.
In a letter to the WHO Executive Board, Ethiopia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Dr Tedros, himself a former foreign minister, threatens the organisational integrity of the WHO because he has taken sides with a proscribed group in his native country.
“He has not lived up to the integrity and professional expectations required from his office and position,” said the letter sent to the Board, currently chaired by Dr Patrick Amoth, the Kenyan Obstetrician and Gynaecologist and Director-General of Kenya’s Ministry of Health.
“He has been interfering with the internal affairs of Ethiopia, including Ethiopia’s relations with the state of Eritrea…continues as an active member and supporter of the TPLF that is proscribed as a terrorist group by the Ethiopian parliament.”
Ethiopia said it wants the Board, a 34-member body of the WHO, to investigate Dr Tedros’ conduct for violating his “professional and legal responsibility.”
But the letter was sent ahead of a crucial 150th session of the Board when it will “screen” the candidature of Dr Tedros for his second term as director-general.
The Board is due to meet for its annual meeting on January 24-29 to agree on the agenda for the World Health Assembly as well as vet the candidates for the upcoming elections for the director-general, which are due in May during the 75th World Health Assembly.