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