Ethiopia's Haile Gebrselassie to run for parliament

Haile Gebrselassie (August 2008) Haile Gebrselassie has dominated the track for two decades

Related Stories

Ethiopian athletics star Haile Gebrselassie says he is entering politics with the aim of winning a parliamentary seat in the 2015 election.

The 40-year-old's announcement follows long-standing rumours that his athletics career is drawing to a close.

Mr Haile, a two-time Olympic 10,000m champion, is regarded as a national icon by most Ethiopians.

He has not said under which party's banner he will contest the election.

Ethiopia's parliament is dominated by the ruling Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF). It has only one opposition MP.

'Help my country'

"A lot of messages in the news about me going into politics," Mr Haile said on Twitter.

"Yes, I want to be in the parliament in 2015 to help my country to move forward."

Mr Haile is a four-time world 10,000m champion and won gold at the 1996 and 2000 Olympic Games.

He officially announced his retirement in 2010 but then went on to compete in races after recovering from a knee injury.

In April, he won his third consecutive Vienna half marathon and also took part in the Boston marathon, which was hit by a double bomb attack that killed three people.

The EPRDF is accused by rights groups of leading a highly repressive regime, using anti-terrorism law as a pretext to imprison opposition activists and journalists.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More Africa stories

RSS

Features & Analysis

  • Dr Mahinder Watsa Dr Sex

    The wisecracking 90-year-old whose advice column is a cult hit


  • Payton McKinnonKilling heat

    Why so many American children die in hot cars


  • Vice-President Joe Biden.Joe v Hillary

    What needs to happen for Biden to be the next president


  • USA fanSoccer punch

    Has the US finally fallen in love with the beautiful game? BBC Sport


Elsewhere on the BBC

  • Kyoto.Falling for Kyoto

    Acclaimed writer Pico Iyer describes an enchanting first stroll through the city

Programmes

  • (File photo) Usain BoltClick Watch

    Challenging the world's fastest man to a virtual race over 40m – can you keep up?

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.