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English translation of President Isaias Afwerki's comments on the new Eritrean Constitution

President Isaias Afwerki

It is to be recalled that President Isaias Afwerki conducted an interview with the national media outlets mainly focusing on domestic affairs in connection with the New Year on the 30th of December 2014. In the interview that was broadcast live through Eritrean Television and Dimtsi Hafash highlighting all-round national and regional developments, as well as future prospects, the President shed light on the implementation and progress of development programs, nation-building programs set for implementation in 2015 and other domestic and regional issues. Here is an excerpt of the third part of the interview.


Your Excellency! In last year’s official celebrations of Independence Day, you said that a new constitution would be drafted. What exactly does this mean, putting in to consideration the 1997 national constitution? And what action has so far been taken in this regard?

As everybody knows, there is no constitution. I cannot say there was a constitution which existed or died…I do not even want to bring any excuse about the challenges we have been facing in the last 15 years that were woven to intimidate our existence, sovereignty and development. Majority of our political progress has been under such consistent external ploys and havocs. Thus, the constitution could taken as an already died document before it was declared. Before over ten years, many were suggesting us to declare a state of emergency. But, what they are saying now is another story. However, the constitution is practically a dead document before its declaration. Was it necessary to declare it or not, I think it is of no use to open a platform for an argument. As for us, we do not want to put ourselves in such meaningless issues, but we rather opt to go beyond. Who drafted it, how was it drafted, what was it aimed at? well, we have learnt too much about this issue in the last 15 years. We have learnt many things and upgraded our political maturity. The awareness and the anticipation we had back then comparing with what we are having now is completely different. At that time, due to emotions and goodwill, many things might have been seen. But now, we are highly matured. So, putting in to consideration what we have learnt from our last experience, there must be a Governmental System which helps not only to narrow the gaps among societies but also to protect the recurrence of any sort of gap. Above, the system should ensure the living standard of every national is improved. Based on this, a body is formed to work on it. It is another issue whether the formed body is declared or not. Because, the main concern is the task. This is not a public relations agenda. Since we are well aware of our situations, we perform our job without needless propaganda. As I have said during the Independence Day celebrations, there is a body formed to take charge of it. When it is announced, you can interview this respective body.

There is a methodology that serves in the drafting of the constitution. The most important thing is, when and how would the constitution be prepared and become operational. The former one has become outdated. Since we have learnt too much in the past 15 years, the new one should be better and that serves for the future. The document is just a means but not an end. In this country, where huge sacrifice of life and time has been paid, what we prefer is a system that takes us to the path we aspire to go and that could lead us towards achieving the big objectives I have mentioned earlier.

Since, the system is not by itself an end; the process is progressing without any hasty in the right time. We do not want to put ourselves in an argument about how and what it would look like. This is our domestic issue and the document is not for external political gain. The document we are drafting is aimed to serve for the huge sacrifices we paid for a number of generations, to take us to the journey we aspire to reach and to the chapter we are looking to be in. Thus, it is not an issue where we ask for external support or acclaim. So, it would be practically prepared passing through needed research and preparation and without any publicity. Everybody is ought to understand the document in the fact that it is aimed to sever neither individuals not to minorities interest. This document takes in to account the future of this country and not the interests of individuals. There is nobody who works on the document to make it perfect and without any errors.But, there should be a document that serves for the transformation that is in the near horizon. There is a procedure on how to rectify or make amendments. Thus, for the time being, it is suffice enough if we understand the document is not a perfect one but it would rather continually revised. Everybody who wills to make contribution is the country is most welcomed. Many have been sending their suggestions and shared their views in different forms. I am stating this in a time where we entered to a new transitional chapter. So, we could make humble deliberations in a time where we are setting up or drafting a system that serves the people. A body has been set up in the last six months and we would steadily publicize on how this body operates.

Translation by Eritrea Profile

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English translation of President Isaias Afwerki's comments on the new Eritrean Constitution Reviewed by Admin on 10:09 AM Rating: 5


  1. The Eritrean Constitution shall be the document that is drafted "aimed to serve for the huge sacrifices we paid for a number of generations, to take us to the journey we aspire to reach and to the chapter we are looking to be in. Thus, it is not an issue where we ask for external support or acclaim. So, it would be practically prepared passing through needed research and preparation and without any publicity. Everybody is ought to understand the document in the fact that it is aimed to sever neither individuals not to minorities interest." but to serve the "aspiration" of all Eritreans, In short, the Eritrean constitution shall be dynamic document that will promote social justice (equality, fraternity, social hormany, and prosperity). One thing is for sure, the Eritrean constitution shall never and ever be a repeat of the mistakes done by the dismal Africa. For sure it shall never be the one they have in Ethiopia.

    Long live Shaebia and long live Wedi Afom Birri!
    Stay on course, for you are yet to teach the Africans what a "constitution" is meant to be!

  2. If there is Shaebia, there is an honest and a right way.

  3. Agree completely with what you wrote. The problem is though a chunk of our people are either in jail,or fleeing for their lives or under total slavery by the same one who is lecturing us above.Let me tell you honestly(go ahead you can call me names if that makes you happy) the problem is Esais made huge mistake in 2000 jailing many people and then went from bad to worst and instead of correcting his mistakes ,he went to a survival mode and now we are paying the price for his arrogance, Sorry to say this he will do what ever it takes to stay in power and God forbid die in office did all his damage by then we will be another Somalia.Do you watch sometimes E.R tv ?Have you notice how many people participate in their so called this meeting that meeting you count them.Why? There is no one left except women old and children my friend.God bless my friend

  4. Loving the new updates to the website! Do you know if it's possible to find a translation of the whole interview?

  5. When a lunatic speak, monkeys start clapping!
    Ita zesrahkuma geza trah aywseda'ber intai gdadkum baal "hawi kebdom".

  6. Do you know the US Constitution that was drafted/passed in 1776 has gone through 20 Amendments since?. Does this tell you something? Sure it does. In short, there is no complete constitution but a "perfect constitution" is the one which is dynamic and alive that changes/amends when generations come and go. That is what the Eritreans constitution will look like. And why? We Eritreans do learn from the wisdom and the mistakes of others!

    One thing is for sure. Eritrean constitution shall not be a repeat what we have seen in the Africa. That much you can it as inevitable for the time being.

  7. Long Live Shaebia, Long Live the bigger than life Eritrean leaders, and long live to the Eritrean children who were there defending their country through thick and thin.

    Stay on course Deki Ere, you the Eritreans have a mission to accomplish. The HALAL MERIET is again to teach the Africans what a "constitution" is meant to be.

    No need to worry about the toothless dogs barking from streets of the West. Stay on course and let Eritrea shine brighter for all to see.

    By the way, please call me SHAEBIA any time of the day for it is a badge of honor and pride I wear any time of the day.

  8. To amend is one thing, to change is another.
    The big question is that who gave the president the autority to declare it dead? And who to draft new one?

  9. There won't be any constituion until this mad dog is in power. It is like expecting a maffia leader to repsect and implement rule of law, and that means the end of his maffia group. What we will get is a copy of Gaddafi green book. Who gave this mad dog to declare the constitution to be dead?, Who are those secret group who will draft a new constitution, and why to keep it secret? Does this new group have the comptence to draft a constitution? Who will approve the new constitution in absence of a parlament? What is the timeplan for draftign and implementing the consttiution, why didn't the mad dog mention any timeplan? There are so many questions to be asked but since there wont be any constitution in place it is just a wast of time. Our only hope is an internal military coup to remove this mad dog from power once and for all.

  10. It is just yesterday's memory that Higdef officials such as the Master Deceiver Yemane Gebreab were telling diaspora citizens that there is in deed a ratified legitimate constitution, and now the so called president is shamelessly telling us that the People's Constitution is dead. What a joke and what a shame !

  11. Well said ! My hats off for you.

  12. Wait a minute here. Let me ask U a pertinent question. Was it right of the arrested ones to call for elections and such, while the country was under an invasion?

  13. The situation of the 15 years, as he said, tells him so. U cannot judge this things based on your personal experience. His position is completely different than yours. Do you know the constitution calls for- food for everyone, shelter for everyone, medical treatment for everyone, electricity for everyone etc. etc. and we see the govt. is doing its utmost to satisfy these huge needs of the population. In other words, the constitution is being implemented everyday in Eritrea. But some people, who love power for powers sake, only point out election not being conducted, as we see in other african countries. What´s the use of putting names in a ballot box, if you then go home and have nothing to eat?

  14. Thanks! English translations of PIA's interview can be found here:




  15. John,
    In our case we dont put names in the ballot box plus have nothing to eat, so we are loosing twice. Why to pick the bad examples of African election where there are plenty once where there has been a success.

  16. As long as this mad dog is in power there wont be any constitution. How do you expect a criminal to implemente a rule of law?. BTW how will approve the new constitution in abscence of parlament?. Issays has already reached a point of no return and what ever he says he wont fullfill it because that will mean an end of his one man rule. Folks what he will provide us will be a copy of Gaddafis green book no constitution.

  17. We do names in ballet boxes, though it may not satisfy you. When was the last time you followed news from Eritrea. Do you check the news from home at least once a week? At least acknowledge that and denigrate it as would be expected! Do not lie!

    In any case every action of the so called oppositions tell us that you shout constitution, blah, blah and blah only for convenience, to look legitimate. It is a forgone conclusion that you guys are worse than what you accuse. Let's start from your lies, for example!


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