What will be the future of EDA after the Congress?

The outcome of the last conference was building a partnership between the EDA and non- EDA political organizations, civil society, women and youth associations and independents.  The purpose of this partnership is to empower the democratic camp against the dictatorship. In this structure people feel a part of the system, they take share of responsibility for it and play a role in making it work.

The activities of the commission direct after the conference are some indicators of the new structure. At a basic level, the process of national conferences symbolizes such participation.

The process of national conference are the mechanisms of bringing together people where they have the opportunity to have their own say openly.

Conferences including the mass movements and political organizations is not a new phenomena but is approved by all those who struggled against dictatorship in the world.

Many latest studies by prominent academia like Gene Sharp and many others. National conferences are the best methods of building confidence by ensuring inclusion of all significant stakeholders in the transition process.

The Eritrean National conference for democratic change held in Addis was an exemplary or evidence how the EDA leadership was open to the participation of the civil society.

The Eritrean civil society organizations and associations which participated in the conference reflect that how much the civil society is mature and aware to operate as the intermediary between the political organizations that couldn’t proceed forward except living in political bickering and infighting.

The conference held in Addis was successful thanks to the contributions of the civil society organizations participation and their contributions. As the result of the conference the EDA and the civil society organizations built a good relationship towards trust and confidence building which is the basic foundation to build democracy.

No one denies that the EDA and its member organizations are weak and failed to provide an effective opposition but the partnership built after the conference is showing signs of mutually energizing not only the civil society organizations but the EDA.

Political solutions are always more likely to succeed when they are owned by the people, rather than imposed on them. The Eritrean political elites are outdated and are still on their old method of imposing.

According the new research studies politics is the science of convincing or persuading not imposing. The EDA leadership that organized the conference in collaboration with the civil society has shown political maturity by including the civil society and independents.

The partnership evolved after the Addis conference is in a good process energizing both the political organizations and the civil society organizations.

The EDA is still in its former structure and internal integrity. The civil society organizations act as a channel of participation and provide useful checks and balances on the action of the political organizations, ensuring accountability and transparency. They don’t compete for power from this point of view what will be the future structure of EDA after the congress is a relevant issue to be discussed and studied ahead of the congress.

In every political process, and in our case particularly, there are genuine fears and concerns among the stakeholders. In our case we are still in conflict with the regime in power and internally with the forces of democratic change in between political organizations and the civil society organizations. How can we bring together these constellations needs skills and knowledge.

The coming congress’ success depends on drafting the future of organizational structure that includes all these constellations/( EDA. Non –EDA political organizations. Civil society, independents Veterans, Women and Youth associations, Academia and professionals)

In this article I will deal on the expected organizational structure to be built after the congress. The scope of such organizations should be so broad so that the struggle against the dictatorship and the transition process be speedy and with less costs.

Proposal draft on the foundation of the Eritrean National Council organization

If the outcomes of the congress are formation of :

1.     National Council of Resistance

2.     Adopting Interim constitution

3.     Adopting National Charter

The organizational structure will be broadened and will include all.( EDA, political organizations outside EDA, civil society representatives, women and youth, professionals, academia, religious leaders) A good example is of the Tibetan and Burmese opposition Resistance alternative governments.

Some references of Resistance:

1.     Burma: National League for Democracy

2.     Tibetan parliament in exile

Hoping that the Eritrean National Commission for Democratic Change will do its job effectively, I hereby like to forward the commission assigned with the agenda of drafting , “ the foundation of the Eritrean National Council organization.”

Drafting organizational structure is a complex issue and need skills and experiences. The job of an organization structure is to ease and support implementation of its basic ideas. It is the structure which provides security.

The unwilling to change structure gradually leads to a more and more ineffective organization. The national conference process was from the very beginning to change the structure of organization in the opposition camp.

The drafting commission of the organizational structure must focus on three foundations:

1.     The needs which legitimise the organization’s existence- what the organization ought to be doing.

2.     Allocating the resources in the form of competence, finance and other inputs so that to promote the new organization after the congress.

3.     The will, motivation or vision of the new organization members- what the organization, “ would like to” dedicate itself to.

Assuming that the coming congress expectations are formation of, “ National Council for democratic change.”

Then the drafting committee must include in its structure.

1. Name of the Council: Eritrean National Democratic Council of Resistance/ENDCR

–         Goals and objectives of the Council

–         Membership of the council

–         The Democratic Alternative

a.     composition

b.     structure/ decentralized

c.      presidium of the council

d.     constitution and bylaws of the council

e.      the provincial government

2. Work platform

–  Fundamental freedoms

– Separation of religion and state

– Defence

– Foreign policy

– Justice and equality

– International support

– Office of the president and prime minister

– Rights of nationalities

Chart of the National Council of Resistance

National congress

National council/ Parliament

President of the national council/ Parliament

The national council divides in work groups

For example

Foreign relations…………. Security and Defence……………..Finance and economy……………Information and culture……………….

National audit  ………………………………………………………. Judiciary

Executive office/ government/ Prime minister




The Democratic alternative

The national council for democratic change is to oppose the dictatorial regime in Eritrea and work for democratic change, establish a pluralist democracy. The council should have its interim constitution adopted and published when the dictatorship is overthrown.  The council should expand to include all democratic forces opposed the dictatorship in Eritrea.


The Eritrean National council for democratic change must include all members of the political and civic organizations, women and youth associations, veterans and distinguished elders and scholars residing in diaspora.


The structure must be decentralized. Decision making must be accessible, transparent and accountable locally and centrally.

The legislative and executive must have separate power, each must know its responsibility and work assignment./ Separation of power/

The audit must be divided in sections. The financial audit and the administrative audit.

The prime ministers office must be composed of politicians and professionals.

Bylaws of the council

The council must have bylaws in decision making or passing laws. The term of the council and government decides at the congress every period.

The provisional Government

The provisional government or the alternative government must be a coalition of the different political groups and perspectives. It will be responsible for running the opposition until the fall of the dictator, if the dictator immediately fall during the time when the current national council, it is the present council and government that the responsibility whose primary task is to stabilize and secure the transition.


Fundamental Freedoms

The national council of resistance must first struggle for the removal of the dictatorship in Eritrea. It must believe in political and multi-party system. It must recognize that democracy is the sole guarantee for the advancement and progress of the country. It must believe in equality and justice in all political, economical, social and cultural rights of the Eritrean nationalities. It must respect the Universal human Rights Declarations and the bill of rights. The council is the law- maker of the opposition forces allowing all modes of struggle against the tyranny

Separation of religion and state

The drafting commission must make clear the separation of state and religion. The plan is that while the council respects all religions will not allow any religion enjoying any privileges but it must guarantee complete freedom for the followers of any religion to practice their traditions and rites.


The drafting commission of the coming organization must have its economic policy based on free market recognizing national and international investment. The economy of Eritrea must be reconstructive engaging all citizens developing both human and capital resources targeting to poverty reduction and promoting economic growth.

Foreign policy

The drafting commission must take the appropriate policy statements in this affair. The national councils foreign policy being sovereign must respect the uN Charter and international conventions and treaties, good neighbourliness, peace and regional and international cooperation and non-interference in the affairs of other countries

The EDA will remain as it is but will be the member of “National Council of Resistance” composed of all forces organized either as political, civil society, religious and ethnic organization. This National Council of Resistance is the centre of gravity where all the satellites evolve round it. It will work as the solar system, like our mother earth rotates round the sun, the political organization s and others will work together to keep the struggle against the dictatorship in balance and transfer the power to the people who are the its owners.

The formation of National Council of Resistance is an umbrella organization including political organizations and all who work for democratic change in Eritrea regardless of their organizational structure. It is the platform where all Eritreans come and participate.

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