On May 28th 2014, an editorial commentary appeared in the official EPDP website. In it, the writer of the editorial has stated ” … the underlying objective of these (PFDJ-led) nationwide seminars, coupled with the tyrant’s announcement to launch a project of “constitution drafting” is nothing, but a PFDJ survival method to maintain its grip on power.”
In generally terms, it is true one of the political objectives of the PFDJ government by coming up with the strange and unexpected idea of changing the ratified Constitution is to prolong its grip on power. However, as I intend to argue in this article, it is much more than simply trying to hold on to power. Let us thus see what the other major factors are which propelled the erratic PFDJ boss to make the strange announcement to draft a new constitution on the occasion of the 23rd Eritrean Independence Day.
2. Brief Comments on PIA’s Bomb Shell Announcement
It is to be remembered that I wrote on the 26th of May 2014, an article titled “Brief Comments on PIA’s Bomb Shell Announcement,” and posted it in my face book and at Togoruba website. In it, I expressed my deeply felt shock and surprise when I noted and learned from the speech of the Eritrean President delivered on the occasion of the 23-years of Eritrean Independence-Day celebration that “a constitution drafting process will be launched to chart out the political road map for the future governmental structure.” I was shocked and bewildered because I was conscious that the legal and legitimate owners of the unimplemented Eritrean constitution are the Eritrean people, and that the President did not even mention in passing the ratified Eritrean constitution or why he wanted to change it. He just brushed it aside and unashamedly declared that “a constitution drafting process will be launched.” In doing so, the lunatic President of Eritrea has made it abundantly clear how much contempt and disregard he has for Eritrea and its people.
Consequently, the first question I asked in my article was this: what happened to the 1997 ratified Eritrean constitution? – A constitution, for which so much energy and money was spent and took more than three years to prepare and finalize it. I also forwarded other justifiable and valid questions for debate. What is more, I also affirmed that the ratified Eritrean constitution was adopted through the active debate and popular participation and was earnestly ratified in September 1997 by the Eritrean Parliament as the basic law of sovereign and independent Eritrea. In other words, I argued further as from the day it was ratified by the Eritrean assembly, the legal and legitimate owners of the Eritrean constitution are the Eritrean people. Having shown that the owners of the ratified Eritrean constitution are the Eritrean people, I stated without the proper involvement of the Eritrean population and their democratically elected representatives, the self-appointed President of Eritrea has no right whatsoever to tamper with or nullify the ratified Eritrean constitution. Consequently, I reminded Eritreans that there is now an urgent need for popular mobilisation and resistance against the illegal measures which the morally bankrupt, self-appointed and lunatic President of Eritrea is about to take.
I made the call for I believed failure to stringently oppose on time the Eritrean dictator’s announcement to draft a new constitution will be seen and considered like an open betrayal to the heroic struggle of the G-15- i.e. those who have and are still suffering immensely inside the horrible hell-like dungeons of the PFDJ- and the entire Eritrean people that have been demanding all the way for the immediate implementation of the ratified Eritrean constitution.
3. Why does the Eritrean Dictator want to create a new Eritrean Constitution?
As far as my reading the mind of the Eritrean Dictator is concerned, the main reason behind the scandalous announcement to commit the ratified Eritrean constitution to the dust bin of history is to achieve the following four major selfish and vindictive political objectives: (1). As vindictive, greedy and merciless as he is, the Eritrean Dictator want to blatantly deny the author of the Eritrean constitution the honour of being known, remembered and placed in the pages of Eritrean history as the principal author of the first constitution of independent Eritrea. PIA is doing so in order to inflict maximum pain on the author of the Eritrean constitution. He also want to include a new clause in the new Eritrean constitution in the making to criminalise and ban all the TPLF government supported leaders of the different Eritrean opposition groups from taking part in any political process that could take place in independent Eritrea under PFDJ rule. In other words, PIA want to introduce such draconian laws in the Eritrean constitution in order by so doing to punish and totally marginalise from Eritrean politics the leaders of the Eritrean opposition groups allied with the TPLF government of Ethiopia; (3). And to insert and place a justifying clause in the new Eritrean constitution which enables the Eritrean Dictator to remain legally as a President for life of independent Eritrea- that is until he goes to his own grave; (4). And last but not least, to insert a clause in the refurbished constitution which allows a so-called loyal opposition –groups that do not pose a direct threat to Issayas dominant position in Eritrean politics -to operate legally and take part in the political process initiated and led by the Eritrean Dictator.
Thus to my understanding, the above listed four major political objectives are behind the Eritrean Dictator’s illegal move to nullify the ratified Eritrean constitution and create a new one. However, as far as I am concerned, history and the Eritrean people are no-longer on the side of the Eritrean dictator. Hence, all the indications seem to show that the unchallenged golden era for the Eritrean dictator is now over. Indeed, from now on, it is almost certain that Issayas will not have a chance to live long enough to see another constitution and rule Eritrea and its people through tricks and deception.
Written and posted by Drs. Tsegezab Gebregergis, London, June 27th, 2015.