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National Conference Elects A 53-Member Commission

Commission To Organize A Conference And Draft Transitional Constitution Towards A National Assembly

Gedab News: (August 9, 2010) The National Conference for Democratic Change  (NCDC) concluded   its  session today, August 9, 2010, by electing a 53-member Commission for Democratic Change in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The conference began on July 31, 2010.

330 participants representing all Eritrean social segments from all over the world attended the conference. The attendants represented women, refugees, political parties and civil associations.

The final statements of five workshops formed to hash out working papers presented during the 10-day session were read  at the conclusion of the conference.

The workshops concluded with several resolutions, recommendations and appeals.  

The 53-member Commission for Democratic Change (CDC) is composed of commissioners who represent political and civic organizations. Each political organization of the 11-member umbrella group known as the Eritrean Democratic Alliance (EDA) was allotted two slots. This includes the Eritrean People’s Democratic Party (EPDP) which chose not to participate in the NCDC.   The rest of the Commissioners (31 in all) represent the Eritrean civil society including 5 from organizations representing women’s rights. 

The conference resolved to hold an all inclusive national conference within a year to establish a national assembly that will represent all segments of the Eritrean society.

The CDC, which will elect its own officers, is tasked with  this responsibility. Additionally, the CDC will formulate a clear vision and chart a road map for a democratic change for the transitional period after the removal of the regime.

The CDC is also tasked with drafting a Transitional Constitution by considering inputs and draft proposals and by leveraging the positive experiences acquired during the formulation of the 1952 and 1997 constitutions as well as experiences from other countries.  

On Sunday night the EPRDF [Ethiopia’s ruling coalition] hosted a dinner party in honor of the conference attendees where Mr. Mukhtar Kedir, a senior representative of the EPRDF, gave a speech in which he confirmed his government’s commitment to working closely with Eritreans.

A press conference will be held tomorrow at the Addis Hilton where Eritrean, Ethiopian, regional and international media will be present.

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