Fetsum: SINIT’s “HARMONIZED INTERIM CONSTITUTION of Eritrea” under the surveillance of the third-eye (Part II)

Fetsum: SINIT’s “HARMONIZED INTERIM CONSTITUTION of Eritrea” under the surveillance of the third-eye (Part II) Folks; please read this article fully but everything failed for that mustached loser in Adi Hallo like using a wrong

Fetsum: SINIT’s “HARMONIZED INTERIM CONSTITUTION of Eritrea” under the surveillance of the third-eye (Part II)

Folks; please read this article fully but everything failed for that mustached loser in Adi Hallo like using a wrong equation to launch a rocket that turns around crashing on the head. He is uselessly perishing as one of the nastiest legacies in human experience with a bleak future in Andnet Park, Addis Ababa. In the new formula, Abiy is serving Isaias in fear of the Weyanes, literally leaking his butt, at least for now and the dictator is trying to modulate Weyane’s insecurity using the situation until it surrenders to his authority at the expense of innocent Eritrean refugees in Tigrai. He would then dominate the Ethiopian politics behind the Weyane’s submissive obedience and mess up the whole region for yet, few more years until the graveyard swallows him out of the scene. In other words, he is working hard to victimize the two societies as political switches based on fear and insecurity from upper hand position. I hope the Tigrean people will stick with their gun looking for harmonic and peaceful future with the Eritrean people ahead but the tranquilizing pills could not overcome the extraordinary karmic weight on his back. He desperately needs to suffocate himself with Medical Marijuana from Tembien rolled by a stoned FELASSI from Debrebizen and under the blessing of an intoxicated IMAM from one of the mosques in the country!

Information: The DENVER SINIT COMMITTEE had exhaustively discussed the issue of NEUTRAL TRANSITIONAL GOVERNMENT before it arrived at Denver festival to share its contribution with the people. The group had also promised to study the matter based on, at least Liberia’s, Ghana’s, Somalia’s and East Timor’s transitional experiences and shortly conclude on. Well, the research is now complete. In their words “The Eritrean Sinit Study Group (ESSG) is happy to announce the completion of its Eritrean Democratic Transition studies and would like to invite to discussion of its findings and implement the recommendations of the studies.”

I congratulate the group and welcome the invitation. Please enjoy the most important parts/pieces of PROPOSAL 4, ESSG’s “Harmonized Interim Constitution of Eritrea”, 2019.

CHAPTER V: THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

Article 35 Representation of the People 

  1. The National Assembly shall enact an electoral law, which shall prescribe for and ensure the representation and participation of the Eritrean people.

Article 36: Establishment and Duration of the National Assembly

  1. There shall be a National Assembly which shall be a supreme representative and legislative body.
  2. The National Assembly shall be composed of representatives elected by the people. {In this section our Group has come up with two opinions (a) and (b)}.”
  3. a) representatives elected by the people in line with the regulations of election commission

Comment: There are two types of Assemblies that concern our situation; Transitional Assembly (also called national assembly) and National Assembly in democratic Eritrea but one Electoral Commission that only works hand in hand with the National Assembly ahead. Democratic Election is the last part of any transitional government which must be first formed with all its bodies (executive, legislative and judiciary).The Assembly then creates an independent Electoral Commission with international forces as will be apparent from the LIBERIAN experience at minimum. Keep in mind that the current Sudanese Neutral Transitional Government called the Sovereign Council has not started talking about it yet, because it is generically formed in the final chapter of a given transitional framework. This means there is only one Electoral Commission throughout the transitional period that has nothing to do with the representatives of the people in the Transitional Assembly, and under which the democratic election of the first president of the country is orchestrated.

Once more, the Electoral Commission in a transitional government has no purpose electing the people in the Transitional Assembly, because they will have been elected in the “ሃገራዊ ዋዕላ” by the would be participants of the event as DENVER MANIFESTO suggests; “ኩሎም ኣካላት ሕብረተ-ሰብ ኤርትራ ዝካፈልዎ “ሃገራዊ ዋዕላ” ምክያድ። ኣብቲ ሃገራዊ ዋዕላ፡ ንኩሎም ናይ ፖለቲካ ሓይላታት ዘሳትፍ “ልፍንታዊ ናይ መስጋገሪ መንግስቲ” ምቓም። ናይ 6 ወርሒ ዕድመ ክህልዎ።”ኣብቲ ሃገራዊ ዋዕላ፡ ኣብ ውሽጥ 6 ወርሒ ናይ መስጋገሪ ቅዋም (interim constitution) ትነድፍ ናይ መራሕቲ ወይ ናይ ክኢላታት ጉጅለ ምቓም::“

Six months for Interim Constitution is too long compared to the shorter times experienced for it in the Liberian and the Sudanese experience (about 2 months) and the suggestion should have prioritized the people instead of the ፖለቲካ ሓይላታት, although the statement was acceptable at the time with a room for amendment. But no one has the right to regulate the Assembly in democratic environment that we want to see immediately after the dictatorship as SINIT suggests in 2(a)!

The language in (2) “The National Assembly shall enact [endorse, ratify, authorize or pass] an electoral law….” clearly suggests that the Election Commission should come after the Assembly produces election law. The Assembly should then precede said election law which precedes the Commission according to 2(a). In light of this, the Commission [a child] cannot regulate the formation of the Assembly [the mother]; for it comes to existence after the Assembly according to ARTICLE 45, [2a]. Here, the Election Commission applicable in democratic election has been confused for being one that also “regulates” the election of Assembly members in the transitional period. The relationship between the transitional Assembly and the Election Committee as implied by 2(a) is, therefore in serious conceptual and chronological disorder.

  1. b) representatives elected by the people in line with the regulation of electing commission and representatives of the opposition political groups and civic societies, national icons and professionals in proportions seen fit by the election commission.
  2. The duration of the provisional assembly should be three years.

Comment: Once again, the wagon stays in front of the horse in 2(b); the error is repeated here as far as the Electing Commission is concerned as discussed above but why should this stage also involve the political groups’ instruction, etc.? The political groups/parties can and should work to recruit members and convince people to elect them based on their programs but how can they have authority to instruct the people on electing their representatives during or after the transition period? Should not the Assembly instruct, or regulate the political parties instead? What model (experience of societies) does this idea follow?

Folks, this is not my academic field for me to have substantial control on and I stand ready for correction but there would not be an Election Commission that can be allowed to instruct or “regulate” the Assembly in the entire 3-year old process of the transitional government. There is no Assembly that forms Electoral Commission to regulate its own formation in the generic concept of transitional governments for so said Assembly should have already been formed by the “ሃገራዊ ዋዕላ” as in the hypothesis on the ground. Unfortunately, they changed this procedure in this situation: their original idea of forming said transitional government qualitatively deteriorated from its proper procedure in DENVER MANIFESTO to the out of phase procedure in this Constitution (reflecting the democratic phase of the society instead of its transitional phase). The inherent relationship between the National Assembly and Election Commission in a given democratic system and their associated interdependent authorities were here confused and reversed for being between the Commission and the Transitional Assembly in the transitional period.

Although it is hard to organize questions here because of the problem, this Constitution at minimum fails to clarify and correctly address decisive issues in this regard. Who forms the Commission, what is its mandate and what body approves its actuality and performance in the democratic election ahead? Is it going to be  exclusively composed of Eritreans or with international experts based on the law? Under what law should the commission work; local or international?

  1. The assembly shall be composed of not less than fifty and not more than seventy  members. 

Comment: The SINIT Constitution is a combination of  the Eritrean Constitutions (1952 and 1997) and partly of BATYO’s (Awassa). I did not see any other research oriented adaptation from other societies’ experience, unless proven wrong! This (4) is a duplicate of the 1952 Constitution but then was a different reality (less than 2 million people, about 77 years ago). “The Eritrean constitution of 1952 [was] crafted to suite the federation of the state of Eritrea and the Imperial government of Ethiopia. The framers of this constitution were appointed by the UN who were mostly British, some Eritreans and Ethiopians and from other nations. This constitution was approved by the Eritrean assembly and ratified by the Emperor of Ethiopia.”

The 1997 Constitution ratified by the then Assembly offers another venue for this: “The drafting authority was the transitional National Assembly, a body consisting of 75 members of the EPLF central committee and 75 representatives elected by regional assemblies.” Further, “The Eritrean constitution calls for legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government. According to the constitution, a 150-seat unicameral legislature, the National Assembly, decides internal and external policy, approves the budget, and elects the president of the country.”

The 150 sits proposed by the modern Constitution was not a random number that surfaced in tele-conferencing environment but based on substantial reality of the society as it concretely manifested itself between 1994 and 1997 with the legitimate assumption that EPLF as temporary government was part of the people at preliminary level of the connection. We are talking about a people’s Assembly exclusively composed of the people. SINIT, however, adapts the 1952 Constitution at the expense of this without any explanation.

Further, sub-article (4) does not consider the demographic effects, ethnic groups, refugees, social groups, women, tegadelti, the civic and political societies, professional and religious groups, etc. and the changes they went through since 1952. It does not specify the Percentile distribution of sits between them. The “majority sit” is, thus open for the political parties as much as it would be for the people when in fact, the people should dominate the sits in democratic transitional experience as in our situation to avoid the risk of improper political power grab. The 1997 Constitution affirmatively signifies this objective reality, needless saying this will be apparent in view of Liberia’s and Sudan’s transitions to democracy.

  1. Members of the National Assembly shall be elected by personal, direct ballot by all citizens who are qualified to vote.

Comment: The “Harmonized Interim Constitution” is supposed to be about the transitional government that should limit its scope only within the period in question. But (6) can only take place in democratic Eritrea where the people get a chance to elect their representatives in the National Assembly.

  1. Members of the National Assembly are representatives of the Eritrean people. 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.

Comment: There should be a comma between “Constitution” and “the interest” in the second line. It is a little confusing here: which Constitution does this refer to, (SINIT’s or the country’s Constitution and which one (1952 Vs 1997)?

Article 39: Chairman of the National Assembly 

  1. In its first meeting, the National Assembly shall elect, by an absolute majority vote of all its members, a Chairman for three year.

Comment: “three year” should change to “three years”

CHAPTER VI: THE EXECUTIVE 

Article 44: The President: Head of State and Government 

  1. {In this point: members of our Group came up with two options: (a) and (b)}.
  2. a) The Executive shall be one President
  3. b) The Executive shall be a Presidential Council composed of 3 members.

Comment: Who would be part of said Presidential Council in the second option?

  1. The executive authority is vested in the President/Presidential Council, and shall be exercised, in consultation with the Cabinet, pursuant to the provisions of this Constitution.

Comment: The president elects the Cabinet (SINIT: Article 52).

  1. The President/Presidential Council shall ensure the respect of the Constitution; the integrity of the State; the efficiency and effectiveness of the public service; the interests and safety of all citizens, including the enjoyment of their fundamental rights and freedoms recognized under this Constitution.

Comment: Here, they clarify the Constitution as being the SINIT Interim Constitution but few things as discussed above intersect with how the National Constitution should work in democratic Eritrea.

Article 45: The Vice President: Deputy Head of State and Government 

  1. The Vice President shall assume the duties of the President in the event of the post of the President becomes vacant for any reason whatsoever. The National Assembly must elect a new President within a period not to exceed ten days from the date of the vacancy.
  2. In case the post of the President becomes vacant, the Speaker of the National Assembly shall replace the President in cases he does not have a Vice President, on the condition that a new President is elected during a period not to exceed ten days from the date of the vacancy and in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution.

Comment: Would not it be proper for the Vise President to replace the president for the entire term (3 years) in this condition; what is his/her job then? Why pressurize the system unnecessarily and which MODEL does the idea depend on?

Article 47: Election and Term of Office of the President 

  1. The President shall be elected from amongst the members of the National Assembly by a vote of the majority of its members. A candidate for the office of the President must be nominated by at least 20 percent vote of all the members of the National Assembly.

Comment: In this unbounded opportunity, the political parties can end up having any number of sits in the Assembly and acquire 20% vote to compete for presidency. No percentile distribution of Assembly sits in this situation, not even a suggestion to empower the people in their own political turf. I would have included the following text before the last sentence in 47[1] to defend the people’s rights in this situation.

‘The people’s representatives should occupy majority sits in the Assembly in contrast to the political parties. A neutral President shall be elected from amongst the members of the National Assembly by a vote of the majority of its members.’

  1. The term of office of the President shall be three years, equal to the term of office of the National Assembly that elects him.
  2. No person shall be elected to hold office of the President for more than two terms.

Comment: Article 47 was a duplicate of Article 41 from the 1997 Constitution. It was copy-pasted without significant modification (they only changed the five years to three years) to fit the situation in the transitional period because the 1997’s was designed for constitutional democracy in independent Eritrea. We are one step backward from that stage brothers; and the article should have been accordingly modified in my opinion.

Unfortunately, there exists another serious confusion here in relation to Article 47 [2]: If “the term of the president shall be three years” and the transitional period lasts for “three years” where does the “No person shall be elected to hold office of the President for more than two terms” fit into the equation and where had this limitation ever been practiced in the past? The “two term” limit is only applicable in democratic systems and not for systems during transition to democracy. But SINIT mixes the president of the transitional government in question with the future elected presidents of the country in democratic Eritrea that can legally acquire power for two terms.

That is what happens when you only copy and paste without realizing what you are doing. It happens when you don’t edit your work, the reason my articles are full of mistakes sometimes; thank God they are not a Constitution as such. This is similar to how they confused the Transitional Assembly with the National Assembly in relation to the Election Commission’s legal authority. In light of this, SINIT confuses a very important component in democratic societies (two-term presidency) with the single termed (3 years) presidency in a given transitional government.

  1. When the office of the President becomes vacant due to death or resignation of the incumbent or due to the reasons enumerated in Sub-Article 6 of this Article, the Chairman of the National Assembly shall assume the office of the President. The Chairman shall serve as acting President for not more than thirty days, during which time, the National Assembly shall elect another President to serve the remaining term of his predecessor.

Comment: Hiyeko tebelkuwos yiwihto koinu kof!! I had to down two double-shots of Tequila to sustain this traumatizing shocker ladies and gentlemen! Please realize that 45 (1-3) is in serious contradiction with 47(4).

In Article 45 (3), the Vice President replaces the president in the event it is vacant but if there is no Vise President for some reason, then the Speaker of the Assembly temporarily takes that position. In Article 47 (4), however, “the Chairman of the National Assembly shall assume the office of the President” in this situation.

This inconsistency could only take place when you have no knowhow and interest on the subject matter itself, despite the potential for learning that was not utilized in this lost opportunity. This happens when you wait too long doing nothing on the matter and you rush to meet the deadline with anything that you can throw to the people; when you prioritize advertisement and image to delivery and substance. You try to feck it but it comes and haunts you back! In this adventure, they imported this portion of the 1997 Constitution, mixed it up with another concept and made the whole thing more confusing. The 1997 Constitution does not have Vise President so the Assembly Chairman takes the president’s position in case of emergency. Check this out!

Article 41 (4) (1997 Constitution): “When the office of the President becomes vacant due to death or resignation of the incumbent or due to the reasons enumerated in Sub-Article 6 of this Article, the Chairman of the National Assembly shall assume the office of the President. The Chairman shall serve as acting President for not more than thirty days, during which time, the National Assembly shall elect another President to serve the remaining term of his predecessor.”

As you can see, SINIT’s Article 47 (4) is the exact duplicate of the 1997’s 41 (4). In SINIT, however, there is a Vice President and a Chairman of the Assembly who were authorized to replace the president by very sloppy job beyond belief. They did not have the time to edit their work; they just threw this for face value expecting to easily get away which they so far did: they are travelling around the world selling this product that they call Interim Constitution, which has no value to the people except misery under another dictatorship in future Eritrea.

  1. The term of office of the person elected to serve as President under Sub-Article 4 of this Article shall not be considered as a full term for purposes of Sub-Article 3 of this Article.

Comment: This is an exact duplicate of 1997 Constitution’s Chapter 41 (5).  SINIT’s was supposed to be Interim Constitution that should only concentrate on what we have to do in that specific period. I could not understand said “full-term” and the associated sub-articles in this context when the SINIT limits the one shot term in question for “three years”.

V: THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY 

Article 37: Powers and Duties of the National Assembly 

  1. In the interim period, the power that brings change shall appoint a President who shall serve for one year and shall not be qualified to seek office or be appointed in any branches of the government at any level for at least three year

Comment: The last line of Number 8 should be corrected to read “at least three years.” In Article 37 (8), SINIT authorizes any force (army, political party, group, etc.) that changes the government 100% power to run the nation alone for a full year. The force is supposed to elect a president alone. This is a duplicate from BAYO’s (Awasa affiliated) Charter with no further explanation. Where on planet earth had an interim president been authorized to run a government for only one year in an interim period of three years? Where has this type of employment restriction on the president after working for only one year ever been practiced?

Instead of restricting the interim government (executive, legislative and the electoral commission) from participating in the national democratic election ahead, they restrict them only from getting government jobs within the three-year term allocated for the government as a whole. I respectfully argue that this must be the first time of its type in the history interim Governments!!

Further, there is no suggestion of power sharing arrangement with so said force in this situation like how the Sudanese people guaranteed the people’s leverage in the transitional government by (6 civilians to 5 from the army). SINIT takes the risk of betrayal here instead of introducing defense mechanism for the people by majority say in so said government. This is extremely dangerous that the Eritreans cannot afford to accept! Thank you but NO, no, no, no!!

  1. In the interim period, the National Assembly shall have the power to elect, from among its members, by absolute majority vote of all its members, a Vice President who shall serve for one year and shall not be qualified to seek office or be appointed in any branches of the government at any level for at least three year

Comment: The last line should be corrected to read “..any level for, at least three years.” They are suggesting a Vise President for only one year in a government that should stay around for three years. We should then have three Vice Presidents for the three-year Interim period. Yet, the algebra does not add up! The imposed ‘unemployment for three years’ does not have time reference (starting and ending times). How does the three years without job apply to the first, second and third Vise Presidents when one can only “serve for one year within the three years transitional period”? Does this imply for the two remaining years of the transitional government or extends to one more year into democratic Eritrea? Where does the restriction start for the other two Vice Presidents in line? A very interesting proposal to say the least, but impossible to imagine forget to work!

  1. In the transition period, the National Assembly shall have the power to elect, from among its members, by absolute majority vote of all its members, the President and a Vice President who shall serve for one year and shall not be qualified to seek office or be appointed in any branches of the government at any level for at least for three year

Comment: First, the “three year” in the last line should change to read; “three years.” Does 37[10] mean we shall have three presidents each serving for only ONE YEAR within the transition period of 3 years as well? Accordingly, the President and the Vise will be allowed to work for one year and get out of the way with no compensation and right to work elsewhere for the next two years. WITHOUT A JOB, the BISHA gold and the Afar Potash would be my immediate targets of corruption but where on planet earth has this unique arrangement been practiced?

Another contradiction is here because in 37[8] “the power that brings change shall appoint a President who shall serve for one year contrary to Article 47 [2] that says ”The term of office of the President shall be three years, equal to the term of office of the National Assembly that elects him.” They authorized the president for 3 years in 47 [2] and only for a year in Article 37 [8].

I don’t know what happened but the problem here can only be a function of ignorance or intention? If it were ignorance, the group should have appointed qualified Eritrean intellectuals on the field for this project or they should have studied the matter well ahead of putting it on paper. If it were intention, however, they should have undermined the people’s intelligence knowing that they don’t read as much. The “three years” restriction from working imposed on the officials in the second condition could only then be to confuse the people with the restrictions that should be imposed on them from computing for power in democratic election to avoid CONFLICT OF INTEREST (this is universally inherent to the issue on the table).

Whether by intention or otherwise, it appears like they structured their articles to allow the political parties in the executive branch of the interim government and run for democratic election at the same time. They want them to organize their own elections from the executive position. Remember that the issues were deeply discussed in the meetings when I was a member so can’t this be an accidental mistake. One way or another, they took a chance on the matter at the expense of their credibility and they must lose it in regards to this magnitude of a project that our best Political Scientists and Lawyers should from now on interfere based on this extraordinary education. This, of course with full acknowledgement of their importance to the struggle like any other Eritrean activist in the deal. I am just saying let us use division of labor according to our educational backgrounds!!

Article 39: Chairman of the National Assembly

  1. In its first meeting, the National Assembly shall elect, by an absolute majority vote of all its members, a Chairman for three year.

Comment: The “Chairman for three year” should be changed to “Chairman for three years”. No Vise Chairman so far and enough is enough for me. But I warn the Chairman to be very careful about the consequence of power struggle for presidency with the equally qualified candidate, the Vise President (VP). I advise him to use a left hook and an upper cut to neutralize the VP instead of a bullet in the head. Please do not use TESTATA here, Mr. VP, unless you want to go to jail for breaking a jaw based on SINIT’s jurisdiction. Don’t yell at him, nor should you hurt him; make him drunk and hummer the devil out of his stagnant head in the absence of a witness! I believe the SINIT study group should think of damage control in this case: It should authorize the right of the two rivals to only carry a screw driver each for self-defense any time they meet to crystalize the most amazing PARTY driven interim Charter I have ever seen in people’s political territory.

Folks, I  may be able to hook the dictator in a series circuit exposed to 1000 volts as an electrical engineer behind the instruction of my brother Professor Mohammed Bashir, but cannot teach the Keynesian Theory of Income Determination as good as my brother Dr. Gebre (economics Professor) can. Nor can I inject a good medication into his veins like how my brother Dr. Salih would do with professional excellence or challenge the devil for accountability on the gold like brother Sengal would do with his speechifying talent and Business Administration certificate. We need our social and political scientists and Lawyers to help us write the Interim Constitution that the SINIT group tried to do beyond its collective intellectual substance.

In conclusion, Party Politics is extremely important to any society but only if played in its court without meddling in the legal political space of the people. We could not help sensing obstacles from a portion of the resistance that tends to experiment something beyond the concept of universal democracy; a unique understanding of our socio-political coexistence that promotes PARTY POLITICS in illegal territory, the people’s absolute political turf. Leaving the structural and procedural errors aside, SINIT fails to suggest anything on the fate of the government and the Electoral Commission after democratic election; after the transitional period? Can the members run for national election or not? What about if the president happens to be from any one of the political parties and wants to run in the upcoming democratic election for any office including the president’s representing his/her political party? Nothing that protects the people in this situation! There is no financial disclosures requirement and restriction in relation to the democratic election (for the entre transitional government) to avoid corruption and conflict of interest as will be apparent in the Liberia’s and Sudanese Charters to democracy.

We have to learn a lesson here: we sure have issues with the rotten system in our country but the main war as you may have noticed is between PARTY POLITICS and THE PEOPLES’ POLITICS, a reality becoming more apparent today than ever in the past. The Eritrean people shall never see justice and freedom before winning the war not with feck democracy encapsulated in a chocolate bar but through intellectual honesty based on universal objectivity. We are ready to dialogue and debate on the concept of neutral  transitional governments with any scholastic counter ideologue in the opposition camp depending on the experience of tens of societies that travelled to constitutional democracy through the bridge. We are ready to discuss the extremely important subject with YIAKIL et al. officials, start studying the matter together and transfer the outcome to all Eritreans in the network before it gets too late. YIAKIL must clearly understand the importance of the topic and its responsibility to organize the forum as soon as possible. I have an emergency project to discuss with YIAKIL and please contact me at Fezum@yahoo.com any time of your convenience, ONLY IF YOU ARE INTERESTED! But I declare with full confidence based on direct experience and this material proof that SINIT has rejected a NEUTRAL TRANSITIONAL GOVERNMENT in the next phase of the struggle. It has further failed to clearly suggest any other classified form of transitional government as an alternative. The SINIT INTERIM CONSITUTION of Eritrea is incomplete, shallow, indefinite, inferior and improper for the Eritrean people to utilize. It does not meet the universal standard in quality, thus totally unacceptable to the Eritrean people. PEACE

yakobe@gmail.com

Review overview
15 COMMENTS
  • Fetsum October 27, 2019

    Dear Danilo. SINIT constitution is just a proposal from that group and not a constitution like z 1952 or 1997 National Constitutions They are not comparable at all. 1997 constitution is z legal constitution of z country by all means of justification. Thanks

POST A COMMENT