Inform, Inspire, Embolden. Reconcile!

Why Isaias Afwerki Invalidated the 1997 Constitution

On May 24, marking the 23rd anniversary of Eritrea’s independence, President Isaias Afwerki had this to say near the conclusion of his address:

“Within the framework of our tasks of nation building, the political infrastructure assumes a vital role as a vehicle to advance our overall objectives. We have gleaned important lessons and experiences from the hostile external schemes aimed at derailing our nation-building endeavours and processes. I would thus like to announce on this occasion that a constitution drafting process will be launched in order to chart out the political road map for the future governmental structure.

There are four questions related to this:

(I) We already have a constitution that was ratified in 1997; why is there a need to announce the initiation of a process to draft a new one in 2014?
(II) How is the future constitution going to be different from the 1997 constitution?
(III) For the last 14 years, we had been told that all talks of constitution are an indulgence as long as Ethiopia occupies sovereign Eritrean territory. What has changed?
(IV) What now?

I. The Justification for Killing the 1997 Constitution

It’s Christmas 2012 and two individuals who go by the obvious pen names of “Asaminew Ewnetun” and “Aradom Fedai Haqi” pen a “review” of Dr. Bereket Habte Selasse’s books and generously distribute them to all his colleagues. We need not go into the details of their review as awate.com wrote a review of their review and published it on February 2, 2013 (See: http://awate.com/reviewing-the-reviewers-in-defense-of-bereket-habte-selassie/) What matters here is the clues they gave us that Isaias Afwerki had passed a death sentence on the 1997 Constitution. This makes sense only if you accept (as I do) that “Asaminew Ewnetun” and “Aradom Fedai Haqi” are senior members of the Isaias Afwerki regime and, if they are not, they are its messengers.

Here’s the clue they had given us:

“However, while other members of the Executive Committee maintained the highest level of moral and professional integrity that was expected of them, the Chairman had, unbeknownst to them, fatally compromised their autonomy and the legitimacy of the Commission and may have irreparably damaged the future of the constitution.”

Stripped of all its hyperbole, the argument of AE and AFH goes something like this: the Executive Committee of the Constitutional Commission of Eritrea (CCE) was made up of (1) Dr. Bereket Habteselassie (Chairman), (2) Mr. Azien Yassin, Vice Chairman; (3) Mr. Zemehret Yohannes; Secretary; and the following members: (4) Dr. Amare Tekle, (5) Mr. Idris Gelawdios, (6) Dr. Seyoum Haregot, (7) Ms. Amna Naib, (8) Ms. Zahra Jaber, (9) Mr. Paulos “Ba’Atai” Tesfagiorgis and (10) Mr. Musa Naib. Since 2001, none of the living members of the CCE had anything to say about the absence of constitutional governance in Eritrea because the CCE was duty-bound to be above politics and be autonomous. None except for Dr. Bereket Habteselassie who not only wrote highly-critical articles of Isaias Afwerki but also fraternized with those who want the 1997 constitution amended and revised or annulled. Therefore, he has “fatally compromised [the CCE’s] autonomy and the legitimacy of the Commission and may have irreparably damaged the future of the constitution.”

With his one-sentence announcement, Isaias Afwerki is saying, “you can remove the ‘may’ and conclude that the 1997 constitution is irreparably damaged and I have to start all over again.”

Of course, this is an absurd argument. In Article 25.5, the 1997 Constitution calls, on all citizens (Dr. Bereket and the entire CCE included) “to respect and defend the Constitution” and, in fact, it is all the other living members of the CCE, including all its commissioners, that have done nothing to show their respect for and defense of the Constitution since it was ignored. All except Dr. Bereket Habteselassie and Paulos Tesfagiorgis. So, Isaias Afwerki and the Isaiasists are turning the argument on its head.

The 1997 Constitution had become the cause-celebre of dissidents and the PFDJ had no answer as to why it is the only African country without a constitution. Now it can say that it is “in the process” of drafting one and the process may follow the tortoise-pace: a year, three years, five years and the answer will be that they are writing the constitution from the ground-up and ensuring “participation.”  But why? What has changed?

Well, let’s ask Asamnew and Aradom again. They allow for the possibility that Isaias Afwerki has changed, but they don’t think the change is abrupt but evolutionary:

“It is inconceivable that the personality of a leader, especially a young revolutionary leader, will remain unchanged for decades in spite of inexorable changes, problems and ordeals that are integral components of any revolutionary struggle. His training in revolutionary theory must have molded practice, but experience too must have molded theory. To this are added the vagaries and vicissitudes of struggle as well as relations between, and within, parties and groups. This will have had impacts not only on the development of skills but also on his character.”

II. How the Future Constitution Will Be Different from the 1997 Constitution

Here’s the argument: Isaias had to change because his perception of the world had changed.  The world is not as fair or just as he had believed and he is pleading “lewahnet” (naiveté): We did this (1997 constitution) in good faith and now it is being used against us by our enemies.  So what is likely to happen? How will the future constitution be different from the 1997 constitution?

A. Exclusivity

I am, obviously, speculating here but I would imagine that the process will be more exclusive than it was for the 1997 Constitution whose process was begun in 1995. The 1997 Constitution had Executive Committee members that included former executives of the Eritrean Liberation Front (Azien Yassin and Idris Gelawdios); it had a member that worked for the United Nations (Seyoum Haregot) and it had members that were on the periphery of its doctrines (Bereket Habteselassie and Paulos Tesfagiorgis.) That, obviously, is not going to be repeated because we have learned of “hostile external schemes aimed at derailing our nation-building endeavours and processes.”  The new CCE will be made up of people who check mark all the boxes: how loyal were they to Isaias Afwerki, particularly since 2001? Had they shown any streak of independence? Is their worldview shaped by the prevailing view within the regime that the US is a force for evil? Are they collectivists? Do they think that civil liberties are a luxury until food security is assured and a middle class emerges?  You know: Dr. Ghidewon I, II, III…

Another contrast between the 1997 and future constitution.  Back when the 1997 constitution was being drafted, attending a meeting of the Constitutional Commission of Eritrea (CCE) was open: there were no requirements. Only those who, on principle, boycotted it couldn’t attend. Now, my guess is that the boycott will come from the Isaiasists: it will be a closed affair: and only those citizens “in good standing” (2% paying, and no black-list appearing) will be invited.  As Stalin once said in democracies what matters is not who votes but who counts the votes. Similarly, in the constitutional drafting process, if you can control the input, you control the output.

B. Nakfa Values

Back then, in 1995-1997, the PFDJ was interested in maintaining appearances—it wanted respectability in the West and it was praised lavishly for producing a near-perfect document. Now, it has no interest in placating the West and probably considers any praise by the West for any policy a kiss-of-death. My guess is that the articles dealing with civil liberties will be watered down and the balance of power between the citizen and the government will tilt heavily towards the government.  Not just the government, but the president.  It is not a coincidence that Isaias Afwerki described the future constitutional-drafting process as one that will “chart out the political road map for the future governmental structure.” There is no mention of the citizen or his/her rights.  Constitutional drafting is government re-organization.

C. Banning Ex-Post Facto Laws

I am not a lawyer but, I think, with the ratification of a new constitution all acts that were crimes based on the 1997 ratified constitution become ex-post facto laws. As Yemane Gebreab, the political director of PFDJ, once remarked, the 1997 constitution is in full-effect except for a few articles. The problem for him (more precisely, for Isaias Afwerki) is that those few articles deal with fundamental rights of citizens. If a new constitution is written such that all the rights of citizens are subject to many conditions (that only the government decides arbitrarily), then it is no longer a crime to arrest people without charges, to detain them for more than 48 hours, to deny them life and liberty, and all the other nuisances it enumerates in Articles 14 through Articles 17.  And you can’t hold the government liable for doing that between 1997 and the day the future constitution is ratified because that would be ex-post facto.  So, the future constitution is a “get-out-of-jail” card for the regime. In essence, they are saying: you in the opposition gave us no exit strategy and now we are writing our own.

III. Ethiopia Still Occupying Sovereign Eritrean Territory. What Has Changed?

All demands for the implementation of the 1997 ratified constitution were dismissed with the explanation that we are in a no-war, no-peace environment and it is unrealistic to demand constitutionalism. This was always a bogus argument and it will remain a bogus argument but it appears to persuade the “national security” constituency of Eritrea who are not an insignificant number.  But the same argument holds now, that did in 2001 (the sovereign land is still occupied), so what has changed? Nothing. This means that the Eritrean regime may revert back to the same argument to address questions of those who ask why there is no progress in drafting the new constitution.  From an Isaiasist standpoint: having no constitution and no conversation about constitution is better than talking about a constitution; talking about the process of constitution is better than drafting it; drafting it is better than having it; and if you must have it, having one that empowers the government is better than one that empowers the citizen.   We’ve had 17 years of “it’s not the right time to discuss the constitution”; this will be followed by ____ years of talking about it; followed by ____ years of drafting it; followed by ____ years of Isaias Afwerki’s first term in office; followed by ____ years of Isaias Afwerki’s 2nd term….

IV. What Now?

The same debates we have had will continue, with one twist:

• Those who believe that the 1997 constitution was illegitimate because it was exclusionary and reflected the PFDJ value system will continue to dismiss the 1997 and all future constitution designed by one party as unworkable and unsustainable;
• Those who believe that the 1997 constitution was imperfect but a good start and is the most practical way to separate Isaias Afwerki from the EPLF/PFDJ will continue to push for its implementation with the knowledge that the future constitution can only be worse (for reasons stated above);
• Those who believe that the 1997 constitution was “fatally compromised and irreparably damaged” finally have been given the license to say it now and they will wait for the future constitution to arrive on Isaias Afwerki’s timetable.

All of these are issues that are being debated at Awate’s Forum and they will (should) continue to be. They should be fleshed out—from the standpoint of morality and expedience. I think it is fair to say this: the opposition had believed that if you are on the right side of history, the right things will happen and it was fairly weak on the specifics (who? How? When?). The Isaias Afwerki regime had believed that you can out-wait, and out-last your opposition (“resolutely rebuff…”) because they will eventually get tired and give up, only to see the ranks of the opposition (pardon me, the “so-called opposition”) swelling to which it invariably answered “what opposition?” even as it was forced to have its meetings in secret and spent most of its time in a bunker mentality about its enemies.

The only thing that has changed is that the Isaiasists who were supportive of the 1997 constitution and were too cowed to call for it because it is not the right time now have been licensed (by the Tortoise Himself) that it is ok to say it was fatally flawed and compromised and we are going to write a pristine constitution.

 

Pinterest
  • Isaya’s intention was and is never being drafting a constitution nor any institution that checks his hidden agendas. The aim of having it then and revisiting it again is nothing more than buying time as he did then and still hopes to be so for a while. He lives in hiding any action he intends to perform, prefers not to give any clue where he directs his goals nor gives any prepared orientations what comes nexst. He keeps everybody in darkness, knowing little if any.
    After 20 years in the field and 23 years on your helm and still not knowing this wolf would equally mean we are all idiots, excuse me the word,yet, we are really that! Thus, blame no other, but yourself and myself.
    Now we talk about constitution, wow.. how funny we are ..as simple as zombies, just created to be taken care, shortly just humble sheep with empty stomach and fixed eyes stirring nothing more than bread.that’s why he took us with our belly(ies).
    Frozened and discarded when needed, revived and adjusted at will, prisoned and (free) on will, no motivation and explanation is ever required ,just do as you were taught in Sahil mountains!!
    amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • danny

    Isaias is, as always, brilliant in identifying an enclave within the Eritrean society. He has used every enclave we have to obscure our focus in recognizing him as the number one enemy of the prople of Eritrea. He has found one more contentious enclave within us for us to chew on for sometime to come. He will definitely enjoy the gnaw gnaw that will follow his constitution drafting bluff.

  • haileTG

    Selamat Awatistas,

    HistoryOrb.com the largest Today in History site on the web has included October 3rd, 2013 (the day of the Lampedusa tragedy).

    http://www.historyorb.com/events/october/3?p=2

    The entry reads as:

    2013 – 325 people are killed after a migrant ship catches fire and shipwrecks of the coast of Lampedusa, Italy

    It would have been accurate if this information would be updated as [366 (almost all Eritreans)] instead of 325 (people)]

    I have sent corrections note to:

    http://www.historyorb.com/today/corrections.php

    Do likewise, dear awatistas, if you think this is important.

    Regards

  • Amanuel Hidrat

    Selam Haile WM,

    I would like to bring the last thread of your comment as a reply to Semere Up here, to give some life to your argument and share my view on the elements you have touched in your comment.

    The point you were discussing with Semere was the relationship of EPLF and PFDJ or on the metamorphosis of EPLF to PFDJ. Isn’t it very interesting to discuss how organizations evolve with time, space, and circumstances? Absolutely, it is very important to discuss the dynamics of organizations in their evolvement.

    Actually in your argument you try to show the differentiation of EPLF and PFDJ. That is where I want to interject my view and share with awatistas. Let me start with one of your statment and that is “Even-though the leadership of EPLF and PFDJ were the same people the two organizations are totally different.” If you allow me to translate your statement into metaphoric statement, it looks and sounds like this: Even though this new organism is made of the same cells of the parent organism, it is not the same organism. Look and read it again and again please. If the new organism and the parent organism are made of the same cells they will look the same in appearance and essence. So EPLF and PFDJ are the same. As organisms adopt and change their behavior with the environment, so does EPLF with the environment of living in cities when they come from the jungle. This is natural in any struggle for existence. What EPLF knew and did is to change its name to PFDJ to reflect to the circumstances it delved in, but kept its core belief on how to manage and hold the people with iron fist as they did during the liberation era to the tegadeltis. So my point is organizations do evolve (negatively or positively) but they don’t change who they are.

    Second if the PFDJ is the tool for monopolization in the landscape of Eritrean politics as you have stated it, wasn’t the civil war of the armed struggle between EPLF and ELF aimed for political monopolization? Haile, Surely it was for political monopolization. That is one of their core belief during the armed struggle and remains the core belief in the independent Eritrea. They are recruiting and indoctrinating young generation in to the ranks of the organizational structure. This process of organizational evolvement and metamorphosis is not unique to EPLF, it is normal political process of any organization. So EPLF is not the same as that of PFDJ doesn’t hold water.

    Let us see another statement you try to poke on your opposite argument, and that is “In-fact many of the leaders who founded the PFDJ are long dead or in IA prisons. The only one that remains constant of the so called institution PFDJ is Iseyas Afewreki”. Yes in any institutional and organizational structure, the individuals who run the organization will pass away either by natural process or by liquidation, and young generation who hold that belief will continue and make the institutional structure of the organization to insist and persist for its survival. Let me remind you: because the founders of PFDJ are dead doesn’t mean the organization does not have institutional life to survive. Even if Issayas is gone the organization will survive because it has solid members as party. What we are trying and fighting is against the state apparatus it built in, which became the source and the tool of oppression. So individuals can have a significant role but it is not as much as the institution they built in. So to think with the removal of issayas everything will change is a political naivete and uncritical by its nature to say the least.

    Senay MeAlti,

    Amanuel Hidrat

    • haileTG

      Hello Aman,

      I know your debate is with a different Haile (WM) but is interesting to me too because we all seem to have different views. In fact most of the pro-regime believe EPLF to be one and the same as PFDJ and hence are hoping that one day the reason, the cause, the purpose of the struggle would be materialized. Fearing not to tamper with this grand EPLF vision, one by one they are all jumping off a cliff, never to be again.

      What we come to understand as PFDJ is not EPLF in my view. IF your analogy in a cell was to be extended along its own opposite direction, you would argue ELF is EPLF. When the ELF split the EPLF part pushed it out. When the EPLF was about to transfer power through constitutional means (3 years after the formation of PFDJ), the anti-Eritrea part (lead by IA) pushed it out and turned Eritrea into terrorist and foreign rebel groups hub, banished the youth (isolated from the outside world) to waste away in no mans and desolate dry-lands to dig dirt and carry stones, head butted the country back into before the Italian settlers era without water and electricity, isolated the nation from the region, continent and the world, and engaged in the sale of Eritrean youth, men and women for organ harvesting and what have you.

      Now, if you tell me this was what the EPLF gotten popular on (i.e. stripping the people off of any dignity), creating a the darkest corner of Africa where it is dangerous to sustain life, a group with no principle that openly associates itself with terror suspects as Dahir Aways or like the case where Sebhat Efrem met Al Shabab in Somalia on behalf of French hostages, a group that would call for all night dance raves while hundreds of Eritrean bodies was being pulled from beneath the sea…then you would have to justify to me how on earth such an organization would be as popular as EPLF was and its past tegadelti remember it fondly? No, Aman EPLF isn’t what we call PFDJ (and there needs to be a lot of clarification on what we call PFDJ too). If we mean PFDJ that was launched in 1997 and in just 3 years was overtaken by war, liquidation, no congress, arrests, terror alliances, black market, arms dealing, human trafficking….then even many early PFDJits may tell you PFDJ isn’t PFDJ either. I do understand we’re all lost in translation and IA has created the conditions for the perfect storm which we are half way through anyway.

      To me EPLF was progressively undermined from 1991 – 2001. PFDJ was used as a joker to lull the Eritrean people (the 80% non-elite) into confused suspense while they get cleaned out in broad daylight.

      Regards

      • Amanuel Hidrat

        Selam Hailat (the great),

        When those who assign you the title “the great” signaled to strip out the title form you, I said myself I better stay with Hailat. That is why I never used Haile-TG. Now I will be forced to use it because of the presence of another Haile. But back to our point.

        Hailat, I would like to stay with logical argument rather than to debate with the behavioral approach of the PFDJ party. I don’t believe with the theory of “issayasist” kind of approach. I would like to debate on the institution of PFDJ hence on the theory of “PFDJites” who could be defined by their political belief and their policy, and the political infra-structure used in translating their ideas. This is one point though that you disagree with me. We shall see which theory has a theoretical merits as to the issue how organizations evolve and metamorphosized depending on the dynamics of the objective reality on the ground.

        Hailat, yes indeed my logic do apply to EPLF/ELF of that era, because at different time both organizations had the same policy to monopolize the Eritrean politics. They had no tolerance to each other. Those who were against the civil war during that time, our heart and souls were bleeding to the core. Just think for a moment and ask yourself, would ELF be different from EPLF if the role was reversed? No body knows? what I know is ELF was also fighting to monopolize the Eritrean politics. That was fact. I don’t know and I don’t want to predict how ELF would have been evolved.

        Hailat EPLF and PFDJ are the same. It isn’t PFDJ who told them to dissolve the political organizations and come to Eritrea as individuals, it is the EPLF. Certainly, EPLF doesn’t want the existence of the political organizations after independence, and the PFDJ doesn’t want the existence of parties in the nation of Eritrea. The political behavior of PFDJ is the same as the political behavior of EPLF. There isn’t any political behavior that distinguish one from the other. Because they are from the same constituents except they are trying to extend the membership drive to our young under the acronyms of “YPFDJ.” Please do not underestimate the formidability of the PFDJ organization, because you are underestimating your enemy.

        • Saleh Johar

          [Moderator: please cool down, you are proving to be a high maintenance member.]

        • Amanuel Hidrat

          Merhaba, Tsa Tsa,

          There is no such Issayasist (Issayasicm) to begin with. I am against that argument. There are PFDJites and issayas at the top of the rank as omnipresent and omnipotent within the system. So our friend Saay who believe on Issayasism might answer your question despite he want to assign the transitional power to PFDJ-2 as he use to call them.

          Amanuel H.

      • Solomon Seyum

        Selam Haile,

        “In fact most of the pro-regime believe EPLF to be one and the same as PFDJ and hence are hoping that one day the reason, the cause, the purpose of the struggle would be materialized. Fearing not to tamper with this grand EPLF vision, one by one they are all jumping off a cliff, never to be again.”

        Not true. You can also read it as “one by one they are all jumping off a cliff” (horrible choice of words) and to make a “U-Turn” to continue the legacy of the EPLF. You sound celebratory. I have to read you a bit longer to PIN-POINT your flaw and then strip your “The Great” title for your own sake by your own choice. From you, By you, For you. You can call it a self imposed democratic CHOICE.

        Forgive me, I could be premature here. But it is all in good jest. Floating and Stinging.

        Sincerely,
        Solomon Seyum
        AmEritrean GiTsaTse –

      • Serray

        Selamat Amanuel and Hailes,

        The other way of approaching the question of eplf and pfdj, is TPLF the dominant party in the EPRDF coalition the same as the TPLF in medda? If you can answer “No” with a straight face, then God help you. An organization can have a pronged mission. If you read ELF or EPLf’s programs, both have something to say about the nature of post independence eritrea.

        Haile WM claim that “EPLF had motives for it’s creation and existence, while PFDJ definitely was not essential for the well-being of the country rather was a tool for monopolization of the political landscape” or “EPLF had it’s objective and was acting accordingly in a very hard time for both the front and Eritrean people” assumes that an organization exists for a single mission and then self-terminate.

        Both fronts fought a civil war to control medda as a prelude to control eritrea. That either one was planning to give power to a third party after independence is unthinkable. Here is something to think about, if EPLF didn’t change its name, would we be talking about this seemingly redundant dichotomy?

      • Mahmud Saleh

        Haile TG;
        You surprise me sometimes, and that’s why I do not disengage you. This plus an upvote for your reply regarding the differentiation of EPLF/PFDJ.

    • Solomon Seyum

      Selam Aya Amanuel,

      “So individuals can have a significant role but it is not as much as the institution they built.”.

      Baring “what we are trying and fighting is against the state apparatus it built…” and or how “we are trying and fighting” talk, would you kindly indulge me on your thoughts on the following: [Forgive my ignorance of awate 7.0 protocols or etiquette. Still navigating.]
      I may as well even solicit the thoughts of Ali Salim here
      1. Has any individual, to date, played a significant role, of course not greater than, within the EPLF or PFDJ?
      2. Has any individual, to date, played a significant role within the ELF and or its splinter tentacle organizations?
      3. Is Isayas Afeworki an individual that has played a significant role within the institution of EPLF/PFDJ? Is he greater than the institution?
      4. Post independent Eritrean, are there individuals that have played and or are playing a significant role not greater than the State of Eritrea?
      …..
      …..
      …..

      If this is a discussion of an inner circle organizational building or introspective thoughts on how to build an effective organization to rival the institution of EPLF/PFDJ then the “trying and fighting to change” as well as the how, when and where is implicit. I do however appreciate the biological organisms analogy, mutations, how organisms metastasis, metamorphosis, split etc… analogy. It is understandable when you are involved with organisms of nano size for the purpose of destroying them, for they are harmful to bigger and more important organisms, all day everyday that one would employ the first layer of paint (base coat) with such then follow with the true paint you desire.

      Respectfully,

      Solomon Seyum
      AmEritrean GiTsaTse

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Merhaba Solomon,

      How are you? long time since I saw you when your were a student in late 80s. Good to see you in this forum engaging in the welfare of our nation. Let me go straight to your question.

      (a) for Q-1 I am sure there should be individuals who played significant role within EPLF during armed struggle and now with PFDJ be it for bad and good. I will leave this for EPLFites to identify them.
      (b) Q-2, Yes there are many who played significant role from ELFites during the armed struggle. I don’t think in the current struggle. just my view.
      (c) Q-3, i believe DIA as individual has played a significant role in forging the organizations EPLF and PFDJ. Once he build the organizational institution, the organization is more formidable than himself. if the organization doesn’t want him it could overthrow him. I am sure many will come to tell us he is greater than the institution he built. But, let me tell them that issayas is not doing by himself. He has members and institutional structure to work with. Without them nothing could be implemented. There are believers to his institution and his ideas.
      (d) Q-4, There should be. But then the question should be forwarded to PFDJites who work with Issayas.

      One note Solomon, It is only cancer cells that attack their hosts. Multiplication of normal cells doesn’t end on attacking the parent cell.

      Senay Mishet,

      Amanuel H.

      • Solomon Seyum

        I am well. Hope all is well with you as well.

        Thank you for your succinct response. I am using a word I learned from one of our veteran awatistas that goes by the name of Zaki. The word is succinct.

        “…now with PFDJ be it for bad and good. ” Looking/for us to be forward bound. I believe this is where I will pick up… I will be reading Haile “The Great” thoroughly for two reasons: 1. I may be egotistical or competitive–pound for pound I may deserve that title 🙂 2. He may be an EPLFite who jumped of the clif.

        Note for note musically speaking Aya Amanuel… I believe only the YG REPENT sect are the cancerous cells.

        AHbiru Senay mishet,

        Solomon Seyum
        AmEritrean GiTsaTseb

  • Zaki

    Can I plea to people to keep the thread relevant to the article. Why do people raise unrelated topics for discussion on this thread when the point of discussion is clearly about Constitution!!!

    • Solomon Seyum

      Zaki!

      Is that really you brother? It sounds like you. It feels like you. I second your plea. Forgive me I am re orienting my self with awate.com at this 7.0 stage.
      If it is you then you will agree with my following statement: Zaki is the ORIGINAL AND FIRST LEADER of our sect AWATISTAS? Where is TripleZ?
      Seeing you feels like I am back home. I will follow your lead going forward,.

      Solomon Seyum
      AmEritrean GiTsaTse

      • Solomon Seyum

        Zaki,

        Thanks for the lead. I think, utilizing our skills of yesteryear, the best thing to do in order to stay within this most important topic is to address the four questions Saay has put forth. That is create new thread from each of the questions either one or two or more of them simultaneously, Awate 7.0 is now familiar. If you think about it, nothing much has changed with as far as containment of topic is concerned from 1.0.
        It is a few month into this new version though. It has tremendous potential coupled with the quality of thinkers added since way back when. Speaking about “thinkers” (I wonder where Thinker is?) Lets THINK/tackle Saay by flanking him. Beyan Negash perhaps can take point on this with HIS Pre-Post The Taboo Word in Eritrea. i.e. The Constitution.

        Solomon Seyum
        AmEritrean GiTsaTse

  • Hayat Adem

    But why even the interest to discuss this issue?
    The 1997 doc was just a draft. It was not good enough for the nation. It was not tight enough for PIA. The people needed a better one. PIA needed a tighter one. That is what his new initiative all about. We are not even sure if he is going to do it or he is saying it as a confusion bone. Get this one: PIA will never get you a functional constitution. Constitution is a law, the mother of all laws at that. PIA will never accept a restraining law unless forced. Hitler was once asked if he reads fictional books. His answer was: “if I need one, I write one.” PIA will never willingly agree to have a constitution that regulates and restricts his power. And if he has to, he will write in any he likes. We have other priorities to work on before getting into a constitution: the country needs to become free- free from over-militarized posture, free from isolation.

    Dade

  • Bel

    Saba,

    Here is a cool suggestion (From unlikely source) for your clinic. You need to build an isolation unit (Tiny room) for the angry, unstable and weird patients (No ordinary medical practice will do with such kind of people) ; name it, say “Mad dog House”, then fill it with weirdos a pair at a time.

    Start with the angry, unstable, mad dog # 1 (Haile the G) and the angrier, more unstable and madder dog # 2 ( Serray), and shove them both in that isolation unit.

    Walla! you will have a clean house and a good practice

    I am just saying….

    ;

  • Zaki

    Hallo Ermi
    Beside excellent points made by Amanuel I ask you to pay a close attention to this document. You need to see beyond few and far between rights it offers. This document so called 1997 constitution is a party political manifesto. Go compare it to any decent constitution and you will see the difference. All the rights are proviso meaning PFDJ have to have the ultimate say on it. The purpose of any constitution should be to protect the inalienable rights of the people against State that present itself as omnipresent. This constitution is quite opposite. The State is presented as all knowing and giving. (Go count number of times the State is stated on this document).
    In other words the mindset that produced this document had in mind the State as being sole owner of people and land. Totalitarian regimes manifest themselves in many forms. Hence, this document would have entrenched totalitarianism in constitutional garment.

  • Tesfabirhan WR

    Dear Awatistsas,

    W/zero Sophia on SBS radio from Australia is saying because of demobilization all Eritreans are not able to have a permanent address and hence can not vote. And because of this elections can not be held. This is the only and only one of the articles within the constitution that is not implemented. “Election.” aye, aye, aye!

    Reflection:
    1. Soldiers need to be back home as soon as possible in their permanent residence address (home village or cities – merebetom) in order to have a right to vote.
    2. Only the old people are left in cities and are we expecting these these groups to vote, we have to wait till the aggression from Ethiopia is finished (ab werar ena zelena) (aregtot trah do elect kitgebru delikum?)
    3. On the forced slavery conscripts, “They are not soldiers, all are in National service by the way.”

    Does it make sense???

    ወ/ሮ ሶፊያ ተስፋማሪያም US foundation for the horn of Africa ናይዝተባህለ ዘይመንግስታዊ
    ማሕበር ዲረክተር ኢያ፡ ኣብ ኣውስትራሊያ ምብጻሕ ኣብዝገበረትሉ እዋን፡ ምስ ራዲዮ SBS ክፍሊ ትግርኛ ቃለ
    መሕትት ገይራ፡ ብዛዕባ ፖለቲካ ኤርትራ ንዝቐረቡላ ሕቶታት ድማ መልሲ ትህብ፡ 29/05/2014.

    Antum hgdefawyan????

    http://www.sbs.com.au/yourlanguage/tigrinya/highlight/page/id/338628/t/Interview-With-Sofia-Tesfamariam-Part-1/

    Hawkum
    tes

    • Kokhob Selam
    • haileTG

      Hey tes,

      The interview might have been recorded days before IA announced the drafting of new constitution on 05/24. This shows you that these people (enda hgdef) have no clue and gives saay’s argument some credence. This is the second time too, previously Yemane hibey, Wedi Gerahtu (ri’esi akat) and Sophia told the wife of Naizghie that the latter was gonna buried in Eritrea with honor. IA ended up refusing and the body buried after 45 days.

      Again, if Sophia who left Eritrea when she was 2 months old, live in Ethiopia until she was 6 years old, then moved to Tanzania until her adult age followed by 40 years residence in the USA can lecture about Eritrea, well we can expect anything!

      cheers

      • Tesfabirhan WR

        Dear haile TG,

        probably it could be as you said. And regarding Saay’s argument of DIA as the doer of all evils is not a bold argument at all. Saay has followed who DIA is for more than 2 decades.

        But, what makes Saay’s proposal invalid is, PFDJ-DIA is nothing but PFD+another D(who will emerge). PFDJ’s ideology is in such away that it is a good nursery office for dictators. Every office in Eritrea is lead by dictator, all the generals are dictators. And this is not out of nothing or is connected with individual personality. To stay in office, they have to be dictators. There is no rule and the only tool they have is to be dictators. Let’s hear in Sophia’s interview, all she acts is like a dictator. That is how she can stay within the PFDJ’S office. DIA built PFDJ according to his line of copied ideology, the JUCHE ideology (this is my findings), and now DIA is not needed to run the front. Every one is able. See the YPFDJs. They are all future dictators, they never hesitate to kill justice and facts.

        SG tried to correct Saay on the term called “weed-out.” Saay is trying to divert the meaning in order to win his proposal. I don’t know how Saay understood it but his own coined word, weed’em and string’em are misleading and just fabrication of his psyche. “Weed-out” is a clear principle that focuses on the system and mindset of PFDJ, not on physical, but on the mentality and offices of PFDJ. Else, Saay is well equiped and strong, just he needs to confess like what Mahmud Saleh did to understand the reality.

        Concerning Sophia, Sophia is not better than YG, opposite in the way she is working, YG for haileslasie’s era, (even not now-very past time-the dead soul of YG), and ST (Sophia Tesfamariam) for PFDJ) and both depend on the philosophy of “Fallacy.” YG is more detailed, but ST very shallow but both hallucinatories. ST has two two dead parts, her spirit and her soul, worse than YG.

        Hawka
        tes

  • Guest

    I want to let DIA know that we will never forget images of our victims (in Lampadusa). He can come up with any crappy constitution or whatever, but he cannot erase what happened in Lampadusa and Sinai desert. The whole world has seen this tragic events. The dictator cannot bring back our dead ones. We all are directly or indirectly affected by the Lampadusa horrifying tragedy. The image of the dead is still stuck in our thoughts.

    Also, the ICC will have drug Dictator Issayas and lead him the way to hell. The facts/evidences are on his face, the over 10,000 prisoners and people like Dejen Ande Hishel have a lot to say about what has happened to them, prisoners in Karchelli and other detention centers scatted within our unfortunate nation.

    The dictator will be haunted for what he did and still doing. What goes around comes around. The images I posted below are all over the internet. Michael Adonai has done a wonderful job depicting the drowned woman and with her umbilical cord attached to her baby. The dark history of the dictator can never be erased:

  • Aman

    (CLARIFICATION)
    In short to be more clear to you all;
    it doesn’t matter to me whether one is in ruling or opposition party
    or constitution or non-constitution. With regard to the challenges that
    are dealt with and we are paying sacrifices to survive and move on
    together as nation and as people the primacy should be given to the
    people’s and nation’s interest or should be harmonized as such first.
    because the interest of the nation and the people should have primacy
    over the fame or life of an org.
    I see orgs only as vehicles for some period of time for the people to succeed
    into better and higher ground. So let no leader or organization rise above the
    the Eritrean nation, its people and their interests PLEASE !!

  • Aman

    AMAN’S MEMORUNDUM
    OF MAY 28, 2014 @ 04 : 38 PM PST
    In any way, One way or the other where are we as one Eritrean people
    vis a vis as a state or the country. All I wish and have been advocating
    for was to express my fear whether the organizations are for or against
    the peoples moves and what he/she already possesses. It always seems
    to me they are not upto the aspirations and always short of the people’s
    wishes and need.Rather the true wishes of the people seem to be advocated
    and championed by unorganized individuals who are always undermined and
    detested by the orgs. Do we as the people have a control mechanism for the
    orgs. incase they renegade or betray our wishes ?
    For me it doesn’t matter whether constitution/no constitution, past/present,
    Tegadalay/not Tegadalay, Ghedli romantic/ non-romantic, blah… and blah….
    dichotomy.
    But whether one came through EPLF/PFDJ or through Opposition to PFDJ/EPLF
    platform…………no ERITREAN man/woman should be left behind. And all the role
    of the Orgs should only be as a vehiecle for thrusting and elevating every Eritrean
    individual to success by playing their roles well.
    Because so much time and resources have been wasted so far in unfruitful feuding,
    zero sum games and war of attrition – all to the disadvantages of the people and
    advantages to the enemies which eventually turned around by grat sacrifices that
    cost the people too much.
    AMEN

  • Tzigereda

    Dear Haile The Great,
    Please read ” octopus” and not “octopis”…

  • Tzigereda

    Dear Haile The Great,

    1. when I say uprooting the mindset of PFDJ is a long process I refer to the attitude & culture ( fear, mistrust, loss of norms and values, servileness, divisivness, loss of selfconfidence), of this organization. I am talking about citizen rights literally ( that governments can/should be hired and fired by the people, that a citizen is never a property of a government), the right of every citizen to be the owner of his life. Respect of every live, tolerance & respect of different thoughts and minds. IA has cheated the eritrean people to exercise these rights, and many have still incorporated this attitude, and exactly this is what I mean by it will take us long to “eradicate” the PFDJ mindset. The Rule of Law is one aspect of introducing democratic governance but change of mindset can not be imposed via rule, for this it will be a long way to go. It needs more than a decree or mere abolishment of a party.
    Trying to make a difference between PFDJ or EPLF is for me a bit cosmetic, besides I can only talk about the current regime whose name is PFDJ. EPLF is definitley one of the backbone of GHEDLI, which brought successfully the independence. But this doesnt mean that the history of EPLF is free from crimes , and regarding the “EPLF culture” there is a lot to be said ( which I prefer not to discuss futher now). Getting rid of the power grip by IA and consequesntially his core members would be the first step.

    2. I said Tegadelti can not be asked to do more than the civilians. By stating this I was not speaking of IA and his core members, or those who are part of the crime. I was responding to some comments made about why the Tedadeltis have not done this and that…I disagree with your statment “the vast majority are responsible for for current misddeds”. No, the vast mayjority of tegadelti are victims themselves; their very own children are among the youth of Dinai, Lampedusa, indefinite “national service”, forced labor….

    3. Yes, only well an organized and disciplined opposition can lead to make ends meet. Allow me to qoute H.Jackson Brown, Jr.regarding “discipline”:
    ” Talent without discipline is like an octopis on roller skates. there’s plenty of movement, but you never know if it’s going to be forward, backwards, or sideways.”
    Discipline doesnt contradict with free expression.
    I never questioned that the crimes of IA, PFDJ ( mistaken Tegadelti whatever) should be told, I am just saying please, dont stop there, I want/ wish( hizbi erztra yixibeyena alo, yixbeyekum alo!) to see the next step, how to bring the solution, because the suffering of our people is far too unbearable. it must be stopped ( I’m afraid we are getting “used to it”. let us see the urgency!).
    In order to prevent that the post-IA era ( or peri / post-IA) gets dominated by a PFDJ 2, 3 ..we in the opposition should be well prepared for that.
    What kind of message are we sending to those at home who would sooner than later be capable of making change happen? Are we encouraging them or are we “demonizing ” all? Are we working for isolation of IA( which would be the best way) or are we “scaring them off” ( inadvertently of course)?

    PS: regarding the “testosteron driven..” have you not yet heard , that in POST- IA, Asmara Airport will be administered by women and that there will be a “Testosteron scanner”…?

  • Nicaraguan

    JUST FOR PURPOSES OF REFERENCE :
    ( Are you Awates familiar with this name and process)
    ARENA
    Alliance of Right wing Nationalist parties of Nicaragua
    is an acronym of the new Nicaraguan alliance party which came in the early 90’s
    to challenge the Sandanista party of Nicaragua under the leadership of Daniel Ortega.
    In the new post 1989 world situation where the NGO’s of USA urged their government
    for a greater role with themselves as brokers in between they came up with the idea of
    forming an Alliance of Right Wing Parties to knock out left leaning or otherwise parties
    in formerly socialist countries. Hence this was first experimented in the dominantly
    catholic country of Nicaragua by the catholic missionary NGO’s to bring an alliance
    of Ethno-religious right wing movements under one umbrella and brought the method
    to Ethiopia in the 1990’s when similar events took place and the NGO’s were the main
    players in Meles TPLF/EPRDF government and some killil governments.
    Hence Aytes Gebru and Seye Asrat/Abraha took even the name as it is with out change.
    ARENA = Alliance of Nicaraguan Right wing Nationalities Alliance.

    • sara

      i am sure no one would like to engage you in relation to this information/subject,specially those hailing from the south of our border.btw this is also applied in various African countries from Mozambique to Angola.

  • Ermias

    The 1997 Constitution:

    If you remove IA out of the picture, it is not a bad document at all. As it maybe clear by now, the problem we have in Eritrea is an existential nature, particularly to the continuity and the health of the family unit of the highlanders and not a constitution sponsored by IA or whoever else. But since I have been reading a lot of garbage here about the 1997 constitution, I will chip in my two cents here.

    It is very disrespectful to call it a leaflet to the authors who invested an extensive amount of time on it, particularly Dr. Bereket. The US constitution is 22 or so pages including all its amendments. I wish the people who categorically reject the 1997 document would cite their disagreements chapter by chapter or article by article of its 59 articles.

    To reject it simply because IA presided over it while it was being drafted is disingenuous and exposes perhaps another sinister motive. IA is widely credited for leading the armed struggle to its final end, which is Independence but I have never seen anyone reject independence because it was led by IA. I am the last person to defend IA for anything because there is no one I hate in this world more than him but at the same time I call upon all of those who reject the constitution of 1997 to express their grievances specifically rather than make blanket statements about it and reject it for possibly hidden reasons.

    It is a good document because it guarantees citizens equality, freedom of movement, freedom to live and settle anywhere (I sense this is the headache for many). It guarantees women equal participation and equal rights. That is to mention a few. It gives the president a little too much power but no president will live forever.

    So if our ultimate problem was that because we do not have a constitution that is implemented, implementing the one written by Dr. Bereket and co. would suffice. But that is not the issue at this time.

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Hello Ermi,

      Before you become dismissive to those who oppose it, did you follow their argument? What are the flaws they are pointing out for corrections? Did they propose how to correct it? Because Dr. Bereket and his colleagues drafted it, doesn’t mean it is without flaws? Remember we are talking the “would be” contractual political document of the Eritrean people with their political organizations/parties to be governed with? Understand how and when a “contractual political document” becomes a legal document. If you come with this frame of conceptual argument, you will learn many abnormalities from the document of 1997. Just to mention one, the “hybrid governmental structure” is a structure that will be a fertile womb of authoritarian regime. Go and read any constitutional democratic governments, you will never find a president to be elected from a parliament. They did it uniquely to trap us in endless authoritarian regime. So understand the arguments by those who are opposing it. First of all it is your generation who will be trapped with this defective document. We want to correct it before you are trapped with it. You sound you aren’t following the debate.

      Senay MeAlti,

      Amanuel Hidrat

      • Kokhob Selam

        You were born to say wrong when you see wrong and correct when it is correct no mater by whom it is done and said (even if it is you, I am sure). This is what makes you strong and man of principle.

        I participated as an ordinary man in the meeting and i openly said the constitution drafted has a lot of corrections to be done including the power given to president which also will never allow of cross checking for decisions done. with all those shortcomings of the document and after it has been accepted by PFDJ leadership, still one man stop it.

        I still see no document will help Eritrea before creating a transitional government which can be done only after removal of PFDJ.

        • Amanuel Hidrat

          Merhaba Kokhob Selam,

          Thank you for the nice words.

          Remember Kokhob, after all, the rules and regulations encoded in any Constitution will determine the future shape of Eritrean society, our rights and freedoms, political structure, different power levels between organizations, mechanisms monitoring government authority, plus various economic and social justice factors. Except the “bill of rights” which is universal the document is full of flaws. This what I have in mind.:

          The Eritrean world of academia and development should create a shadow constitution based on published research, studies in progress, plus political and organizational data showing the 1997 Constitutional track record, evaluating its weaknesses and strengths. A nationwide wish list could be compiled of Constitutional features that people want to see enacted. These shadow constitutions would be submitted to the Constitutional Revising Committee for consideration.

          You see Kokhob, the problem with us Eritreans is they don’t understand that the constitution is a “political contractual covenant” before it become encoded with legal terms to call it a constitutional law of the land. Until and unless we understand the “contractual” nature of a constitution there will not be a stride of progress.

          Hawka,

          Amanuel Hidrat

        • Hope

          I may disagree on that as Emma has shown has a nature of being stubborn and a spirit of “My Way is the HIGH WAY”.
          I have never seen him compromising or showing any sign of appropriate flexibility.
          Case in point,refer to SAAY’s comments and debate with Emma.
          This is my opinion.

      • tafla

        The presidency is largely a ceremonial (head of state) office in countries where the parliament elects a prime minister, as in Ethiopia. In the 1997 constitution, the President needs the vote of 2/3 to be elected and 2/3 to be deposed ahead of his term limit. read page 29-31. Can you point to where in the document you see the excess? Honest inquiry.
        http://www.eritreadaily.net/News2009/Qwam.pdf

        • Amanuel Hidrat

          Dear Tafla,

          I am talking about the head of state or the head of the government. I am not talking about ceremonial presidents (ceremonial presidents of parliaments). Go and search anywhere, where the head of state or government “as president” is elected from a parliament in any constitutional democratic government. Or check any Hybrid-structural governance anywhere. I think it is uniquely done for an Eritrean authoritarian governance. My question is straight forward. Don’t tell me about the pages of the provisions. I went through it many times to make argument. Just answer my question.

          • tafla

            Dear Aman,
            I don’t understand what your question is about. It’s just terminolgy for me (president or prime minister). In parliamentary systems, you elect a party and if that party get’s its own majority (50% +1), the party leader of the largest party becomes Prime minister and the head of state is a president or a monarch. In the Eritrean constitution a leader needs to get 66,66% to be elected President , which means a broad consensus or gridlock. Correct me if I’m wrong.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Haw Tafla,

            Did you notice that the document depicts a hybrid governmental structure? There are two ways of electing head of governments or head of state (a) presidential – elect “a president” by popular vote or (b) Parliamentary – elect “prime minister” from the winning party in the parliament. In a presidential structure, the constitution gives certain powers to the president but yet the legislative should oversee the president. In parliamentary, the prime minister works collectively with his colleagues in the cabinet. They have different power how they run the country. So my argument we don’t need Hybrid. We chose one from the two. Ask Dr. Bereket why uniquely Hybrid structure for Eritrea? I am sure he hasn’t any answer for it.

            Amanuel H.

          • Peace!

            Emma,

            I dont think it should matter given you are a big fan of Meles. Meles Zenawi was both the president and the prime minister, and was elected by the fake Ethiopian parliament. You can’t have it both ways:)
            Regards

      • Ermias

        Selamat A.H., for one thing, I do understand that the constitution is a framework by which laws are constructed, implemented, and enforced. In fact, I make my living out of one CFR and one Title only in the US.

        I am not a constitutional scholar nor have I studied the 1997 constitution line by line or word by word. But I read it a few times and I tried to find big gaps in it playing the devil’s advocate. The way I understand it, it clearly defines the separation of powers of the National Assembly (NA), the Executive, and the Judicial body. It also gives ample power to the NA including impeaching the president by a 2/3 vote. It provides for a good amount of checks and balances. I understand the NA elects the president by ‘an absolute majority’ and Article 31.4 states that:

        “Members of the National Assembly are representatives of the Eritrean people as a whole. In discharging their duties, they are governed by the objectives and principles of the Constitution, the interest of the people and the country and their conscience.”

        As you mentioned, this structure maybe unprecedented but I can’t see how you can conclude that it will necessarily lead to an ‘authoritarian system.’

        I can understand a minority group raising concerns that they might be underrepresented because of Article 31.4 but as you know there is not even a great sense of unity amongst the Tigrinya speakers. I say, by and large, it is a good document. The other thing you need to consider is if we write a constitution drastically different than the one from 1997, it might lead to much bigger issues than you may have thought. Because I am sure there are segments or groups or intellectuals who support this document and rejecting this altogether and re-writing another one could lead to certain groups declaring it ‘unconstitutional’ or unacceptable. If we eventually get to the point where we need an implementable institution, I say start with what we have, compile a wish list of things to be changed as you suggested, incorporate the most reasonable requests (without even calling them amendments or anything like that) and use it and amend with time as needed.

        • Amanuel Hidrat

          Selam Ermi,

          Let me ask you on the issue of presidency. All will be based on your assumption and those who defend it. (a) you are telling us the constitution allows for multi-parties (b) whatever number of parties we have they will compete for the seats in the assembly. but for the purpose of practical argument let us have two Y and Z (c) let us assume these two parties won 45% and 55% seats respectively (d) allow to nominate candidates for presidency (e) two candidates nominated one from each party because they don’t want to split the votes of their members (f) each party decided to gave its total seat votes to their nominee and ended up to reflect to the total seats 45% by 55%. How will you resolve such constitutional crises? Notice the problem is coming from the hybrid-nature of the structure. How will you resolve the required 67% vote?

          Now if it would have been “presidential process” electing a president by popular vote, you will have a president by minimum majority vote count. And if your have the “parliamentary process” the winning party on the number of seats, will elect the Prime Minister. These are the common process of electing a president or a prime Minster. Never heard a president “chief executive” to be elected from the parliament.

          Besides the big problem is that the structure doesn’t have a mechanism how to address equitable power demand from our social groups and the inability of “centralized unitary government” in devolving certain power to periphery from the center to assure the people’s participation and exercising in governing themselves.

          Amanuel Hidrat

          • Ermias

            Selamat Emma,

            Okay, I get your drift. So then you and I know that Dr B knows better. May one say that there was an intellectual dishonesty on the part of the good doctor?

            Maybe.

            See below, an excerpt from Semere TH’s interview with Dr. B:

            “Both Isaias and Meles Zenawi were told in no uncertain terms by Herman Cohen, head of the Africa Bureau of the American State Department: “No democracy. No assistance.”
            The whole constitution making exercise was an opportunistic ploy to be in the good books of the West. It was not a strategic decision based on universal principles, but a tactical ploy. Hence the fact that a ratified constitution has not been implemented for 16 years.”

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Merhaba Ermi,

            Yes Dr. Bereket and His Colleagues Knew what they did and why they produce that kind of product. But us on the receiving end (a) we know what is and isn’t trap to us (b) what is judicious or discriminatory to us, no matter what the power of the day tried to dictates on us. Yes there are many who submit to the power of the day, but when the chain of authoritarian unleash the population there will be one day a braking point, where they will say enough is enough and take the stock of the nation in their hand.

            No doubt, that history at one point will tell us that Dr. Bereket was dishonest to tell us that Issayas and his political office hasn’t any hand on the constitutional process. I forget the exact phrase, but they were told by the office of the president that he want a constrained democracy or to that effect.

            Ermi, I don’t know on what context Cohen had said what you have quoted from Semere, but I do know there is US aid program for democracy and good governance. So rather delving into the subtle possible intentions of the process, It is better to see the merits and demerits of the document from its face value and real value of it. The document is a political document, so we can weigh and judge on the content of the document which is at hand for public verdict.

            Senay Leiti,
            Amanuel H.

          • Ermias

            Good analysis Emma. I don’t want to engage you with this particular subject indefinitely but I am going to go back and reread Semere’s interview with Dr B in its entirety to see why the good doctor was relentlessly fighting for the implementation of the constitution (or was he) knowing full well what it may entail based on your analysis of the presidential loophole among other things. Maybe there is a fix that he may have elaborated. Anyway, thank you for the insights.

      • Berhan

        Selam Amanual Hidrat,
        The Eritrean constitution of 1997 doesn’t allow multiparty. In theory yes but in practice no, the reason is the things you mentioned, in case we have 2 party. Take another scenario when we have 3 party with 50% 30% 20% . In this kind of scenario there is not going to be president elected. Amanual, the assumption was there will be only one dominant party (EPLF) and smoothly will elect the chairman of EPLF a president.
        The amendment formula also could lead to equivalent of parliament supremacy which is the parliament could do ever thing except change a man to woman and man to women.

        • Amanuel Hidrat

          Merhaba Berhan,

          I know the document doesn’t allow multiparty. I stated it just for practical argument and to show the impracticality of a “hybrid structured governement.” I could go beyond to disprove that the constitution even by implicit doesn’t hint multi-party. Take for instance the word “association” they try to imply for mutli-party. I could strike it out by saying, all parties are associations but all associations are not parties. So we don’t know the associations they are talking are parties or other associations.

          In short there is no good thing from the document except the “bill of rights.” The constitution is tailored for a single party and and surely reflect the party’s value system. Haw Berhan, in fact, they are omitting the “contractual nature” of a constitution from their argument.That is the saddest part in the political nature of Eritreans.

          Hawka,

          Amanuel Hidrat

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