Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn on Thursday tendered his resignation amid anti-government demonstrations.
"I want to be part of the solution", he said in remarks carried by the Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation.
In a bid to ease tensions, the government beganreleasing political prisonerslast month after Hailemariam said charges against them would be droppedto "create a national consensus and widen the democratic space for all".
The 53-year-old prime minister said he will continue in his role until the "power transition is completed".
Desalegn, who is chairman of the ruling Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) has been hailed for his technocratic expertise.
Ethiopia had seen sporadic, often deadly protests since late 2015 and temporarily enacted a state of emergency due to the unrest that was mainly in the central Oromia region. He said he had submitted his resignation as prime minister and the chairman of the ruling coalition which has been accused of suppressing dissent through arrest and torture of opposition members and protesters.
Ethiopia's government has always been accused of arresting critical journalists and opposition leaders.
But a legal scholar at Mekelle Universtiy, Meressa Tsehaye, said the deputy prime minister is widely expected to succeed Hailemariam.
"If both these don't happen, then a caretaker or transitional government will be set up".
Hailemariam, an academician-turned-politician, has led Ethiopia since 2012 after the death of former strongman Meles Zenawi.
Desalegn has served as prime minister since 2012.