Meles became head of the TPLF in 1989. The TPLF was the main part of the EPRDF, of which Meles also became chairperson. With the end of the Mengistu regime in 1991, Meles became president of the transitional government. On 23 August 1995, he was chosen to be prime minister of the newly established Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. The following day, the new Cabinet of Ministers formed by Meles was endorsed by the Parliament.
The confidence that the Parliament has in Meles is evident in that he retained his position of prime minister after the 2000 elections, when his own TPLF party moved to third position in Parliament with only 38 seats. The Oromo People's Democratic Organization (OPDO) sits first with 177 seats, and the Amhara National Democratic Movement (ANSDM) second, with 134.