Ethiopia’s PM Meles “bored” with resignation talk

Meles ZenawiADDIS ABABA (Reuters) – Ethiopian leader Meles Zenawi said on Wednesday he was tired of speculation over when he will quit after running the Horn of Africa nation since 1991.

Former rebel leader Meles, 54, has fuelled the talk with some of his clearest comments to date this month that he would like to step down if his ruling party is in agreement.

Asked when that could be at a news conference, Meles, who has been hinting at an exit for several years, replied: “I am bored with that question. Even if you are not bored, I am.”

Analysts believe Meles is most likely to leave after the 2010 election, with the ruling party probably winning again and the prime minister’s post then passing to a senior minister.

Asked if frustrations over such matters as the mayhem in Somalia next door — which prompted an Ethiopian intervention from late 2006 to early 2009 — had influenced his thinking, Meles said he was satisfied with his situation.

“There is not one iota of frustration at the moment in me with regard to the performance of my duties. I am comfortable with my political life,” he said.

“If and when the time comes to deal (with resignation), it will be with great satisfaction. My job is most rewarding.”