EPDP Poliical Program Ratified at 1st Congress 2011 (Old) :
Eritrean People’s Democratic Party
Ratified at the First Party Congress
31 July – 3 August 2011
1. EPDP MISSION AND VISION………………………………………………………………………….10
2. ESTABLISHING DEMOCRATIC SYSTEM……………………………………………………………11
2.1 Constitutional government
2.2 Assuring justice and supremacy of the law
2.3 Division and Balance of Power
2.4 An independent board of election
2.5 National commission for peace and reconciliation
2.6 Good governance and eradication of corruption
2.7 Decentralized administration
2.8 Women’s participation in political life
2.9 Guaranteeing political and human rights of the Eritrean people
3. ARMY AND SECURITY FORCES TO GUARANTEEE
NATIONAL SOVEREIGNTY …………………………………………………………………………….14
3.1 Ground, air and naval forces
3.2 National intelligence services
3.3 The Eritrean Police
3.4 Prisons and prison services
4. ASSURING ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND PROSPERITY…………………………..17
4.1 Development policy of EPDP
4.2 EPDP policy for equitable economic development
4.3 EPDP policy on private sector development
5. DEVELOPING AGRICULTURE, FISHERIES
AND ANIMAL HUSBANDRY………………………………………………………………………….19
5.1 EPDP policy on agriculture
5.2 EPDP policy on fish resources
5.3 EPDP policy on forest protection
5.4 Protection of soil erosion
6. MANAGEMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES ……………………………………………………..23
6.1 Ownership of land and it administration
6.2 Water resources management
6.3 Mineral resources management
6.4 Energy development and management
6.5 Environmental protection
7. EPDP POLICIES ON EDUCATION, PUBLIC HEALTH
AND OTHER SOCIAL SERVICES ………………………………………………………………………27
7.1 Education policy
7.2 Policy on public health
7.3 National census
7.4 Mother-child care
7.5 Care for the elderly and the retired persons
7.6 Support for the disabled persons
7.7 Policy on ports, culture and community development
8. MODERN INFRUSTRUCTURE…………………………………………………………………………31
8.1 Transportation and communication technologies
8.2 Rural development and eradication of poverty
8.3 Urban development and growth
9. EPDP’s INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS POLICY………………………………………………..33
10. STRATEGY OF TRANSITION FROM
DICTATORSHIP TO DEMOCRACY………………………………………………………………….34
10.1 The fall of PFDJ
10.2 Organizing popular awakening
10.3 Mass Media
10.3.1 Public awakening/uprising
10.3.2 Organizing the public
10.3.3 Intensive diplomacy
10.4 Post PFDJ Program
10.4.1 Economic revival in the transition period
10.4.2 Building solid ground for transition to democracy
10.4.3 Security in the transition period
11. PUTTING INTO EFFECT AND AMENDMENDING
THIS POLITICAL PROGRAM………………………………………………………………………..39
Eritrea’s independence, an outcome of a struggle of over two generations with heavy human and material sacrifices, failed to achieve the great aspirations of our people and the pledges of our countless martyrs when it was tragically hijacked in its embryonic stage by a small click that called itself the People’s Front for Justice and democracy (PFDJ). Contrary to the people’s high aspirations, the new state was turned into a place of denial of justice and absence of all basic economic, social and political rights to its people. Eritrea was turned into a larger prison of citizens without rights. Consequently, the lofty promises of the struggle and its martyrs were betrayed and all hopes for freedom, justice and prosperity dashed down. The irony is that the way the PFDJ group treats its own people is much worse than that of the foreign occupiers that preceded it. Nevertheless, the Eritrean people took this as an affront to their well-rooted patriotism and never relented uniting in opposing the dictatorship. It was in this great fighting spirit that the Eritrean People’s Democratic Party (EPDP) was created on 1 January 2010 by merger of forces that could overcome differences and legacies of internecine past conflicts between Eritrea’s mainstream liberation movements – the Eritrean Liberation Front/ELF and the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front/EPLF. The EPDP thus broke a virtual wall that divided Eritreans politically. This forward-looking Party held its First Congress in August 2011, and adopted a new political program in which our people can look up to for regaining their rights denied by the PFDJ clique.
It has been ever since the 1940s that the Eritrean people conducted arduous political and armed struggle against alien rule, mainly Ethiopian. And finally on May 24, 1991, Eritrea's sovereignty was realized under the leadership of the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front (EPLF). Despite the festivities and jubilation of the people on the fall of the enemy, Isaias Afeworki and his small clique lost no time to embark on power grabbing machinations instead of sharing power with their compatriots. This clique lost a life time opportunity by slamming the door on peace and reconciliation. Not only did the clique engage in mistreating, jailing and killing many productive and respected members of EPLF, it also continued to hunt down former ELF members whose whereabouts is still unknown.
PFDJ's inability to deliver good governance, and its multi-faceted corrupt practices and flagrant violations of basic rights of the people can be summarized as follows:
PDFJ’s Undemocratic Governance: The regime governed Eritrea for over two decades without holding national elections, without parliament, and without an independent judiciary. Consequently, we have a country where there is no rule of law, no transparency, no accountability and no clear direction. Thus, Eritreans have become hostages of a system they never elected.
Law and Justice: Continuity of PFDJ rule is dependent on the number of proclamations and decrees it releases. Short of that, there is no constitution under which the people are governed. PFDJ has been ruling the country for over twenty years in which period the party produced 160 proclamations and 120 decrees as tools of governing. The constitution ratified in 1997 is left to collect dust in the drawers of the regime, thus portraying Eritrea as a country in Africa still remaining without a constitution. Thanks to the dictator, Eritrea is known a country where there is no trace of accountability and rule of law.
Political Control: When it comes to democratic rule in Africa, Eritrea ranks almost at the bottom. Corrupt administration of the system exposed our people to record poverty and degradation of the society.
The administrative system of the regime is both monopolistic and extremely centralized. It is a system of absolute control mechanisms from top to bottom. For instance, when the president assigns civilian administrators for the provinces, he at the same time assigns his favored generals to the same provinces with more power, thus subordinating the civilian staff to the military. These divide and rule tactics are applied from the offices of the ministries to the lowest rural committees. These ill intended games have left the system crippled and the people severely affected.
Democratic and Human Rights: Needless to say, the Eritrean regime allows no freedom of thought, freedom of assembly, freedom of press, freedom of speech, freedom of organization and the presence of opposition parties. Briefly, citizens are not allowed to participate in the governance of their own country. Not only that, innocent citizens, war veterans, ministers, who gave their lifetimes to their country, as well as community figures and religious leaders and others are languishing in the worst prison conditions of the clique.
National Security, PFDJ Style:
PFDJ's policy is one of terror and war. In its two decades of misrule, the Asmara clique initiated hostilities with all neighboring countries. From 1994 to 2005 there were on and off skirmishes with the Sudan. In 1995, hostilities broke out with Yemen for the Hanish Islands and in1996 with Djibouti that was repeated in 2008. From 1998 to 2000 a devastating war was fought with Ethiopia. From time to time, the belligerent regime poked its nose into the affairs of Somalia by supporting the Al-Shabab group to destabilize the region. Because of the incorrigible attitude of PFDJ, Eritrea became an isolated rogue state. No surprise that in 2009 the regime was targeted for limited UN sanctions.
- Members of the Eritrean Defense Forces are another repressed and exploited segment of the society compelled to serve the system and its military brass instead of defending the country and serve the people as it ought to be. Clearly, the youth are the prime casualties of the unlimited recruitment for military and national service, and once recruited there is no exit for them. They are not paid for their hard work. They have no right to improve their lives through better education. This is why many of them flee the country against the high risks that await them.
- In the name of national security, PFDJ spies and the police infiltrate every level of the society to ensure unquestionable obedience to the system.
Incarcerating citizens without any apparent reason is a daily practice. Worst of all, the prisoners are kept in metal containers, crowded cells, and fox holes dug out in the desert. Contrary to international norms, prisoners in Eritrea have no right whatsoever for humane treatment.
PFDJ’s Failed Policies on the Economy:
- Eritrean economy remains in a shambles not only because of the harm done to it by chain of foreign occupations and the protracted liberation war but mainly of the destructive anti-market economic policies of PFDJ. The regime exposed the nation to absolute poverty by killing private initiative and by holding hostage the productive forces for its futile adventures. Land has been seized from its owners and sold to a few persons who come with dollars. Those wrong policies of the regime and its excessive bureaucracy discouraged investors and halted the ingenuity of business-minded Eritreans, who, denied opportunities at home, are now running businesses elsewhere. Peasants and livestock herders have been deprived of their sons and daughters and as a result their livelihood is shuttered because they have no one to do the farming and take care of the livestock
- It is difficult to imagine economic growth without a vibrant private sector and private investment. The PFDJ regime literally killed Eritrea’s economy from the start by imposing a command control system and by forcibly conscripting people of working age in its own unpaid services. These measures were taken simply to control the people and prolong the days of the regime in power.
Education and Health Care
- The education policy of the regime is simple theatrics only meant to serve its objectives. The budget for education, estimated to be 2% of the national revenue, compares ill with the huge budget allocated for military adventures of the regime. The only university in the country was closed and replaced by junior colleges run by military personnel. Other entrapments crafted by the regime include the notorious military training camps. After the completion of the eleventh grade, youngsters are taken down to the said camps for military and intelligence training and remain under total control of the system.
Likewise, the unexplainably faulty health policies of the regime have exposed the people to widespread diseases caused and worsened by shortage of medical supplies and accessible medical centers with sufficient number of doctors and medical personnel. International humanitarian organizations and religious charities on which Eritreans in the past depended to a degree for food and medical provisions were banned by the paranoid regime. Communicable illnesses are rampant in the country. Understandably, a large percentage of infants show less than normal weights at birth and many die at early age.
Taking into consideration the prevailing situation highlighted in the above paragraphs, the Eritrean People’s Democratic Party (EPDP) has adopted this political platform with the determination to play its historic role in helping Eritreans to realize their common aspirations for unity, peace, and justice, democracy and national prosperity.
1. EPDP MISSION AND VISION
The paramount objective and mission of the Eritrean People's Democratic Party (EPDP) is to build a united, prosperous, constitutional democratic State that guarantees all liberties to its people and defends its sovereign existence.
- In a free democratic Eritrea, EPDP envisions the establishment of an elected government accountable to the people under a multi-party system that allows free competition and peaceful transfer of power, and one that champions and respects basic liberties and democratic rights.
- The EPDP staunchly believes in, and respects as valued national treasures, the religious, ethnic, cultural and linguistic diversity in Eritrea. In recognition of this reality, the Party shall struggle to realize a decentralized system of governance that ensures equitable distribution of power and economic resources to the people.
- In the fight to eradicate ignorance, diseases and poverty, EPDP shall give priority to education and development programs. To enhance the capabilities and the innate creativity of the people, the EPDP shall work to promote peace and political stability. The formation of independent information services and civic associations shall be encouraged and supported.
- In the foreign relations arena, the EPDP shall struggle to achieve respect and acceptance to the State of Eritrea, and to this end establish peaceful relations with neighbors based on the principle of non-interference in others’ internal affairs; uphold regional and international agreements and treaties; and work on policies and practices that advance good relations at regional and international spheres.
2. ESTABLISHING A DEMOCRATIC SYSTEM
The EPDP believes that the formation and continuity of a system that respects the sovereignty of the citizens can be guaranteed only when that system is governed by a people’s constitution and when all democratic institutions are in place. As such, effective participation of the people can obtain its legal and practical guarantees only under a system of division of power with mutual checks and balances of its organs for accountability and transparency. To prevent concentration of power and resources under the hands of the few, EPDP shall struggle to ensure the participation of the people at national and local levels through an effective decentralized administration.
2.1 Constitutional Government
EPDP believes that the basis for building a democratic system is forming a government subjected to provisions of a national constitution. Based on this principle, EPDP shall strive to realize the drafting and ratifying a national constitution in a democratic manner. In the process of drafting the constitution, consideration shall be given to past efforts and experiences of the Eritrean people. In the event the need arises to amend, correct or change the constitution, EPDP believes that that will be up to the decision of the people.
2.2 Assuring Justice and Supremacy of the Law
All citizens and aliens in Eritrea are equal before the law. Since the objective of laws is to guarantee justice and order in a society, the EPDP shall strive to ensure the existence of legal framework that administers the law with fairness and justice. Legislations, decrees and proclamations shall be promulgated by authorities mandated by people’s representatives. Their intent shall be ensuring basic standards of justice, defending the rights of citizens and promoting the economic, social and cultural interests of the people.
2.3 Division of Power
Based on the principle of division of power in between the legislative, executive and judiciary branches of government, the EPDP struggles for the establishment of a multi-party system in the country. Efforts shall be made to provide the necessary education and skills for the leaders of the state in the three branches of government.
2.4 An Independent Board of Election
The EPDP is of the conviction that, in a constitutional democratic government, the process of a free and fair election is to be given a high priority. Therefore, the Party shall push for the formation of an independent board of elections with its own budget. In line with this, EPDP shall strive to raise the consciousness of the citizens to understand their civic duties and partake in the decision making processes of their government. The party shall also strive to ascertain that running for elected offices shall not be limited to members of the official political parties; non-political associations and individuals should be accorded the right to stand for elections.
2.5 National Commission for Peace and Reconciliation
Considering the physical and emotional scars left in our people under colonial subjugation and by our own political blunders in the past and at present, the EPDP sees the formation of the above stated Commission as of paramount importance. By listening to the grievances of the victims, this body shall try to heal wounds through the application of justice and reconciliation. This process is a critical pre-condition for the unity of the people and in safeguarding the hard earned sovereignty of the country as well as in implanting a new democratic culture. EPDP will pay special attention to its implementation.
2.6 Good Governance and Eradication of Corruption
EPDP pledges to make sure that an administration accountable to the people and of international standards is established in Eritrea. Based on this goal, the Party shall work to create suitable ground at all levels of government for promoting transparency, accountability and to stamp out corruption. Moreover, EPDP shall create the right ground for the people to voice its opinion without fear or favor and for the government to be receptive of the views of its people.
2.7 Decentralized Administration
Well aware of the plurality of cultures and traditions in the Eritrean setting, EPDP believes that decentralizing and spreading power down to the provinces, districts, sub-districts and villages will prevent the concentration of state power and wealth in the hands of a few, a phenomenon which can jeopardize national unity. In order to apply decentralized administration, the following must be fulfilled: a) proper socio-economic and historical/geographical study on the condition of the settlements; b) the willingness of the people to create the new administrative divisions; c) and approval of the plan by constitutionally established organs of the state. Until then, EPDP shall support the continuation of the administrative divisions/provinces that existed before the independence of the country.
2.8 Women’s Participation in Political Life
Because women are half of the society, EPDP affirms that their right to participate at every level of their government decision making process must be protected. EPDP will do its best to root out the road blocks of the old culture that denied women their proper place in the society. The Party will help introduce a law of equality to strengthen the participation of women. To ensure the application of affirmative action, EPDP will advocate for use of a quota system for women.
2.9 Guaranteeing Human and Political Rights
To firmly guarantee the full enjoyment of human and political rights by the Eritrean people, EPDP shall relentlessly struggle to promote the following principles and policies:
- Respecting freedom of faith, and thwarting any discrimination whatsoever on the basis of religion, ethnicity or gender;
- Guaranteeing by a national constitution with a multi-party system of governance the rights of the people to freedom of expression and speech, freedom to organize, and freedom to peaceful demonstration.
- Sparing no efforts for the formation of advocacy groups like civic and professional associations.
- Defending rights of prisoners and protecting them from physical and psychological torture.
- Working to respect the rights of children and the elderly.
- Defending the right of ownership and protecting the property of citizens and residents.
3. ARMY AND SECURITY FORCES TO DEFEND SOVEREIGNTY
The Eritrean National Defense and Security Forces will guarantee peace and stability of the country, abide by international and zonal treaties, refrain from interference in other countries' affairs, and shall be ruled and abide by the decisions of a constitutional government only.
3.1. Ground, Air and Naval Forces of Eritrea
- EPDP believes that the defense force is a national institution that protects the sovereignty of the people and the country, as well as a constitutional government formed by the people according to election laws. Hence, EPDP shall strive to work relentlessly to establish and develop a national army that protects and serves the interests of the whole people of Eritrea, guard public and private properties, and shall be productive and politically independent.
- Recognizing military service as an important profession, EPDP shall strive to open military colleges for ground, naval and air forces, and will ensure that modern training is rendered, and scholarships duly arranged.
- Given the need for the Eritrean Defense Forces to be composed of professional soldiers and members serving the nation, regular and research based national service program will be instituted. However, to make sure that national service is constitutional and for a limited period of time under any circumstance, a new and just law shall drafted and adopted.
- The Eritrean Defense Force shall be reflective of the social wholeness of Eritrea; members of the Eritrean Defense Force shall have the right to vote. However, to remove the possibility of conflict of interest and to make sure that they there is no bias, they shall have no right to be candidates for office or be members of political parties.
- EPDP believes in the establishment of an intelligence department armed with modern tools with the aim of guarding and defending the people and the state.
- The National Intelligence Department shall be a department that is compliant to the Eritrean constitution under any circumstance, equipped to professionally combat, defend and defeat any danger the country may face from external forces, and shall have no affiliation to party, group or political force.
- The National Intelligence Department shall have internal rules and regulations that clarify its organization, and that spell out its responsibilities, that make sure that it does not, under any circumstance, violate fundamental human rights, and that its operations do not conflict with other national intelligence forces and that works hand in hand with the public.
The Eritrean Police
- EPDP shall ascertain the establishment of a modern Police Force able to provide police services to the people by keeping law and order and protecting public and private property in a manner duly respectful of human dignity.
- Given the importance of the duties of the police, the EPDP shall work to increase the capacity of police force, ensure their presence around the whole country to guarantee respect of the rule of law, prevent crimes, and to bring criminals to justice.
- Given the nature of the task, the police may at times be in a situation that appears to be in violation of human rights, especially in their process to stop crimes. There shall be modern training and recruitment programs to prevent such possibilities from happening. Moreover, strict guidelines shall be given to the police not to abuse their authority during any operation.
- Moreover, strict guidelines shall be given to the police not to abuse their authority during any operations.
- The public has to have a significant role in protecting itself and its property. And to ensure that, EPDP shall work to strengthen the bond between the citizens and the police force. As is often the case, when the police and the communities they serve work hand in hand peace and security can be easily achieved.
Prisons and Prison Services
- EPDP shall legally demolish prisons the PFDJ regime is using to commit crimes, and shall set up a prison system aimed at prevention of crimes and ensuring the protection and security of citizens. It shall immediately release all prisoners detained without due process of law because of their political opinion and conscience.
- No one shall be detained without having a day at court. The prison system will make sure that those who are doing their time in prison shall, upon, release, become contributing citizens to the society.
- EPDP shall support policies for fair treatment of prisoners and provide the prison system with adequate material and administrative services. Prison administration shall have its own definite budget to enable it provide regular services with skilled personnel.
- The Party shall ensure that the rights of inmates to meet with their family members be respected, and that they are protected from physical or psychological harm.
- EPDP shall set up and implement academic and vocational training for the inmates to gain skills so that they may not become burden to society upon their release from prison.
4. ASSURING ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND PROSPERITY
The failed policies of PFDJ added to the past chain of alien rule under occupations, Eritrea's economy hit rock bottom. After the fall of the dictatorial regime, EPDP shall endeavor to primarily redress those who suffered economic injustice while at the same time embarking on national reconstruction.
With sound policies, the Party shall build a reliable economic foundation where every Eritrean can have a stake and share. To achieve this, EPDP shall introduce a market based economy to encourage citizens and invite foreigners to invest in the country. The Party will level the playing field for competition and innovation.
4.1 Development Policy of the EPDP
EPDP will work tirelessly to make our country's economy show continuous and active growth by exploiting appropriately all national resources. The development policy will create an enabling environment by removing existing administrative decisions, cultural and social hurdles that have been weakening domestic initiative and skills, and by removing structures and processes that have been obstacles to engaging in mutually beneficial commercial relationships that ensure common development schemes with neighboring countries and the rest of the world.
- The Party shall build up durable infrastructure to ensure sustainable economic development. Particular attention will be given to the development of water resources, electricity (energy) and modern communication networks in order to meet the requirements for steady growth and development aspired to be achieved;
- Lay down long and short term plans for vocational education in order to improve and develop the productive capacity of the working population;
- Set up an innovative and directive research centre with its own budget and equipped with the necessary science and technology aimed at transforming the traditional and backward mode of production through innovative ideas, processes and products;
- Struggle to develop a balanced and dynamic production units based on small, medium and higher production capacities in food and animal production, fishing, as well as processing and commercial activities related to these production units;
- Develop sea-based export and business policy, and port services by taking into account the strategic geographic location of the country;
- Encourage and provide the necessary support for the formation of small private companies, cooperatives and associations in urban and rural areas;
- Struggle to make employee-employer relationship to be based on harmonious and satisfactory conditions; make wages reflective of the cost of living, and enact laws on minimum wage;
- Strive to prevent unemployment by taking measures that increase prospects for job opportunities.
- Follow a market-based economic policy that encourages competition and innovation, and implement such policy in a way that conforms to social justice;
10. Create a conducive environment for the development of private sector; and
11. Prohibit ownership of commercial entities by political parties and government agencies with the objective of fighting corruption and monopoly.
4.2 Policy for Equitable Economic Development
- Give special attention to underdeveloped provinces,
- Encourage every province to develop its own economic administration within the decentralized system which is in line with the general economic policy of the country:
- Struggle for the establishment of an all inclusive relationship and support system at all levels of government (province, district, and village) based on provisions of the national constitution.
4.3 EPDP Policy on Development of the Private Sector
EPDP shall take measures listed below to clear stumbling blocks to market economy and to develop an environment conducive for domestic and foreign investments:
- Create an environment that encourages private investors to focus on export oriented products;
- Encourage the production of competitive export oriented commercial products by introducing moderate interest and tax rates;
- Exert an effort for modern and advanced level of construction and expansion of transportation and communication networks to serve export oriented investment;
- Remove legal and administrative obstacles, and eradicate corruption to encourage investors, both domestic and foreign;
- Enable the growth of small industries and factories that focus on the production of food crops, fisheries and animal husbandry in order to ensure rapid growth and development in Eritrea; and
- Since Eritrea has land topology attractive for tourism, EPDP shall exert an effort to improve the tourism sector by coming up with tourism friendly policies and laws.
5. DEVELOPING AGRICULTURE, FISHERIES AND ANIMAL HUSBANDRY
Since the livelihood of the majority of our people is dependent on agriculture, animal husbandry and fisheries, EPDP will work hard to formulate policies that eradicate poverty by boosting and strengthening the production levels of food farmers, animal breeders and fishermen.
5.1 EPDP Agricultural Policy
EPDP shall set up and implement the following policies to ensure self-sufficiency in food and to ensure food security as benefactors of their toil;
- Exert efforts to improve traditional farming, introduce modern agriculture, and to change the quality of life of Eritrean farmers and the nation as a whole;
- Formulate and implement policies to attract domestic and foreign investors in agriculture;
- Provide farmers with special seeds, fertilizers, insecticides drugs and lending services at subsidized prices and rates to facilitate importation of needed agricultural inputs;
- Encourage strategic seeds and modern agriculture investment that conforms with the country's natural climate, and produce goods also exportable to neighboring countries;
- Support agriculture with modern technology and ensure that machinery and imported supplies are sold a fair prices to farmers;
- Encourage farmers to use natural fertilizer and make it accessible to them;
- To promote water and soil conservation through the construction and proper management of small and large reservoirs and dams, farmers shall be encouraged and supported to own the necessary tools/machinery for these tasks;
- Setting up sustainable plans and methods in the animal production sector and ensure that the producers obtain surplus value from their toil and generate revenues that add up to the national income.
5.2 EPDP's Policy on Fisheries
Given the advantageous geographical location on the Red Sea, which is conducive for an all out development endeavor, it is feasible for Eritrea to intensively engage on fisheries as the main export item and as a means for food self-sufficiency in the country. In order to exploit sea resources, the Party shall introduce the following policies and programs on fisheries:
- Exert an effort to replace traditional methods of fishing by modern fishing techniques in this sector which can be one of the main sources of national income;
- Make sure that big or small companies engaged in this sector of the economy ensure giving priority in the employment opportunities to residents of the area;
- To open and expand foreign market for Eritrean fish to ensure broad and sustainable demand for generation of hard currency, and adopt laws that ensure fair benefits reaching the Eritrean fishermen;
- Setting up technical training centers so that Eritreans are equipped with skills related to fisheries in addition to the regular academic education, and ensure that fisheries obtain modern tools continually;
- Encourage and allow Eritrean fishermen to set up a free union that guards and ensures their interests;
- To ensure continuity of fisheries, there ought to be ensure that there is a legally ratified account of how much of each types of fishes is needed annually; and
- Ensure the guarding of the species of fish which are indigenous to the Red Sea and which are not found anywhere else by enacting laws that protect them from extinction and encourage their reproduction.
5.3 EPDP Policy on Forest Protection
Taking into account the critical role played by trees in the preservation of environment and in the lives of Eritrean communities, in particular of those in the rural and drier areas, EPDP shall strive to protect existing trees and plant new ones. To this effect, the Party shall design policies for plant protection as follows:
- Ensure the guarding of the species of fish which are indigenous to the Red Sea and which are not found anywhere else by enacting laws that protect them from extinction and encourage their reproduction.
- Plant new type of trees that are receptive of the climate and in appropriate regions outside residential areas, road networks and energy facilities;
- Newly planted trees to grow mainly by rain water;
- Enforce a deforestation plan to clear disease-prone plants; and select plants that do not require extra supply of water and fertilizer or other expensive inputs during the growing stage, and
- Selection of new trees to be based on scientific research and findings, and ensure that they are planted in a hospitable area and easily get adapted to it as if it were its natural habitat.
5.4 Protection of Soil Erosion
Protecting soil erosion by water streams and winds requires relentless efforts which cannot be left as a burden to users of the land alone also required effective support of the government through research and policies on land use and management. Thus, EPDP shall work hard to implement the following policies to protect soil erosion:
- Given that soil can differ from place to place due to its content, origin and weather condition at different localities, land studies shall be conducted on river beds and valleys in the country;
- Since one of the main tools for the protection of soil erosion is reforestation, planting trees shall be encouraged in places with adequate rainfall and in areas where the soil is vulnerable and liable to erosion. At certain places, land use need to be limited upon adequate research. Selection shall be made for planting trees and natural grass helpful for soil protection;
- Study areas susceptible to soil erosion and protect the land through planting the right trees for soil preservation;
- Protect soil erosion by constructing durable terraces, barriers and dams.
6. MANAGEMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES
Being aware of the fact that effective management of natural resources as well as eradicating the corrupt practices of the regime to ensure equal share of opportunities by all citizens will contribute to national growth in a peaceful and stable setting, the EPDP shall, to that end, struggle by laying down the following policy stances:
6.1 Ownership and Management of Land
The EPDP champions the conviction that the land belongs to the people. To guarantee a long-last land tenure system which not only reflects the wishes and best interests of the people but also benefits the present and future generations in Eritrea, the EPDP shall replace the unfair and monopolistic policies and proclamations of the regime and restore land to the ownership of the people. On top of that, the Party shall introduce policies, as stated below, in order to reassure that the unfair allocation of rural and urban land is set straight and forward looking land tenure system is introduced:
- Mindful of the fact that land and land resources, which already have a critical space in the prospects of economic growth, the Party shall exert efforts to scrupulously register land and land resources and direct them for national growth and prosperity;
- The Government shall be responsible for the implementation of ministerial policies through a board for land administration that oversees activities at the level of lower administrative units, as appropriate;
- Rents from major land leases shall be collected and used by the state to benefit the residents of localities in the surroundings of such lands;
- Plans shall be laid down to benefit residents of areas where land in their environs is exploited both for underground and over ground resources. Whenever the state designates land for strategic uses, peasants and herders of that region shall be duly compensated with land elsewhere or become stakeholders in the projects established over their land property.
6.2 Management of Water Resources
Well aware of the central role of water resources play in development and protection of environment, EPDP considers streams, rivers, dams, lakes, the sea as well as underground water as natural resources of the nation and will strive to protect their contents, their cleanliness and correct use for common benefit. Provision of water supply to the Eritrean public has always been insufficient due to drought and the wrong policies of alien rulers as well as the current regime. EPDP shall introduce two methods to solve this perennial problem: a) by adopting rural water development policies that are conducted by a rural water development enterprise; b) replace present urban water supply system by urban water and sewerage agency that shall implement policies for this sector. Urgent action shall be taken to lay down urban water supply and sewerage infrastructure and build sufficient number of dams and reservoirs. To this end, the following actions shall be given apt attention:
- Repairing existing dams and constructing new ones; promoting water reservation facilities like water tanks as part of new home constructions;
- Augmenting underground water resources by expansion of terraces and dams, and increasing network of boreholes in all localities for clean water supply;
- Generating and directing domestic and external resources for water supply projects and design appropriate methodologies and plan in order to boost food and animal production;
- Providing incentives at moderate lease to investors in agriculture by laying down modern and strategic water dams that can last for up to 40 years;
- Protecting water from pollutants and adopting correct methods of distribution and usage of water.
6.3 Management and Usage of Mineral Wealth
Taking mineral wealth as one of the primary natural sources for national development, EPDP shall exert efforts in introducing transparent and incorruptible practices starting from licensing and sale of mineral products so that the revenues can be geared towards fighting poverty in Eritrea. It is to be noted that lack of transparency and accountability over revenues from natural resources in several African countries has been cause of wars and internecine conflicts. Dictators do monopolize and misuse national wealth while in office and at their downfall run away big chunks of stolen money stashed in foreign banks.
Springing from this reality, EPDP shall enunciate policies as listed below to ensure the correct management and use of national wealth from natural resources in an accountable and transparent manner:
- State organs in charge of controlling mining activities to be manned by highly skilled personnel with advanced equipment;
- Encouraging, while rigorously following up, activities of traditional small mining enterprises;
- Make efforts to purify or process mineral products in order to enhance their value before export;
- Issuance of mineral exploration/exploitation licensing to be preceded by ensuring matters related to transparency and accountability;
- The right to mineral exploitation to be decided at the highest level in accordance to a mining bill.
6.4 Energy: Its Development and Management
The EPDP shall purse the policies articulated below with the aim of providing a permanent solution to the lack of energy resources and economic constraints to which the poverty-stricken Eritrean people have been exposed to for long because of natural calamities, armed conflicts and the fraudulent policies of the dictatorial PFDJ regime:
- The EPDP shall work to expand and exploit all possible energy resources in the country in order to generate, and help revive national economy, through adequate energy supply which is currently not available due to glaring shortcomings of the regime and inflated world energy costs;
- Researches shall be launched to identify the right energy sources suitable for Eritrea, and give particular attention to the development of energy from the sun;
- With the understanding that the availability of energy with the right infrastructure and investment are two inseparable elements for economic development, EPDP shall strive to adopt policies that realize them;
- Provide power at fair prices that do not adversely affect development and production activities, and watchfully control the use of energy to prevent wastage in less productive purposes;
- The state shall make endeavors to produce energy from sources other than petroleum products;
- There shall be continued efforts in researching and exploring sources of fuel.
6.5 Protection of Environment from Destruction and Pollution
EPDP shall struggle to implement, in compliance with policies laid down in international conventions, the activities listed below in order to protect the environment from destruction and pollution without failing to coordinate waste disposal system with mining activities:
- Exerting efforts to protect the natural resources of the Eritrean Red Sea coast and ensure that all investments comply with environmental protection;
- Taking care that waste disposal systems from industrial and chemical plants and urban sewerage lines are not poured indiscriminately into water streams, rivers, lakes and the sea;
- Also taking care that underground water is not polluted by waste disposal systems from industrial and chemical plants and urban sewerage lines;
- Action shall be taken to cleanse and purify on time polluted water sources or land;
- It shall be mandatory on all licensed mining firms and production and service providing companies to implement domestic and international standards for environmental protection; the state shall put control mechanisms for their correct implementation;
- To scale down sources of pollution, the government to establish a recycling system for used materials like discarded equipment, machinery, plastic ware, furniture, paper, clothes and others.
7. POLICIES ON EDUCATION, PUBLIC HEALTH AND OTHER SOCIAL SERVICES
Provision of modern and practical education and health services shall be given top priority by the EPDP. To free the people from the scourges of ignorance and disease, the Party shall adopt policies as cited below to solve the social problems prevailing in the society:
7.1 Education Policy
Taking into consideration the short and long-term interests of the Eritrean people, the EPDP shall work under the policies listed below in order to vitalize and strengthen education that is accessible to the whole nation:
- To revive the weakened yearning of our people for education and the slackened morale of teaching staff because of the wrong policies of the regime, EPDP shall strive to introduce education policy with the active participation of the parents;
- Strengthening the teach-student relationship and raising teaching staff salaries in line with the requiring living conditions;
- Higher education including at college and university levels to be suited to the enrolment of students from lower levels in the education system;
- The media of education shall be Arabic, Tigrigna and English. Arabic and Tigrigna shall be the media of instruction in elementary education, and English from middle school upwards. At the elementary level, Arabic will be taught as subject in Tigrigna classes, and Tigrigna will be taught as subject in Arabic classes. In middle school and high school, both Arabic and Tigrigna shall be taught as subjects.
- Education can be given in mother tongue upon demand and decision of the concerned locality. In those localities, Arabic and Tigrigna, being the official languages, can be taught as subjects. Efforts shall be made to lay down the right mechanisms to prevent undue domination by the official languages and to prevent marginalization of the rest of the languages;
- Mindful to the social diversity in Eritrea, EPDP believes in the right of guaranteeing and encouraging the development of Eritrean languages;
- Schools shall be provided with modern information technology and communication;
- There shall be teacher training institutes to guarantee the needed number and quality of teaching staff; to upgrade labor skills, the state shall establish adequate number of well equipped vocational schools;
- To increase the rate of participation of women in education, the state adopt policies that prevail over material, cultural, psychological and other barriers that discourage education opportunities for women;
10. Provide support to poor families in order to encourage the education of children of destitute families;
11. To enable colleges and universities in the country to add research work to academic education, the state shall make efforts to provide them the necessary support;
12. The state shall encourage and provide legal backing to the private sector to invest in education; the state shall make efforts to ensure that curriculum in private schools is suited to skills required by the private economic sector in the country.
7.2 Policy on Public Health
Convinced of the fact that public health services require a system based on transparency and accountability, EPDP shall work to provide health services based on the following policy directives:
- EPDP believes that provision of basic health services is the right of citizens. As such, the Party shall see to it that every citizen, irrespective of his social and economic status, shall have access to health services;
- The state shall give priority to the prevention of communicable diseases and adopt and implement policies directed on prevention of diseases;
- To guarantee the provision of effective health services, care shall be taken to check the ongoing exodus of citizens and instead train them higher skills for public health service and grant them certain privileges and remunerations commensurate to their qualifications;
- The state to provide adequate equipment and medical supplies to health facilities; ensure medical supplies to affordable and grant subsidized medicine to those who cannot afford the market prices;
- EPDP shall draw strategic plans and grant all types of health services in a nationally coordinated manner;
- Encouraging and assisting universities and colleges to play roles in the sector through medical studies and researches and by providing medical services;
- Special attention shall be given to the health care of vulnerable segments of the society like children, mothers and the elderly;
- There shall be a well equipped higher institution that give offers a combination of academic and medical education;
- There shall be policy directives that ensure persons disabled by war or natural causes receive adequate medical attention, and when necessary, grant them sufficient treatment abroad through state support or through other funders.
7.3 National Census
Primarily with the objective of ensuring just and equitable distribution of national resources and services in an effective and timely manner, the EPDP shall make efforts to implement well studied policies in conducting population censuses as required;
7.4 Mother-Child Care
Special attention shall be given to the education and health of children to grow as productive committed builders of the nation. Likewise, well aware of mother’s role and responsibility in creating a healthy society, EPDP shall strive to adopt policies that guarantee the health, the proper education, social respect, equality of Eritrean women. On this basis, there shall be programs that provide women the necessary training to equip them with skills suitable to their needs.
7.5 Care for the Elderly and Retired Persons
Paying apt gratitude for their contributions and services to the society, the Party shall continue giving special attention and care to their situation and needs.
7.6 Support for Disabled Persons
1. EPDP shall organize appropriate social services for persons who incurred disability due the wars or natural causes;
2. Action will be taken to facilitate their direct or indirect participation in decisions that affect them;
3. They shall have the right to organize in defense of their interests;
4. Efforts shall be made to establish institutes that provide the right education and training to disabled persons to become self-sufficient and productive citizens.
7.7 Policy on Sports, Culture and Community Development
Taking into consideration the diversity of cultures and traditions in the society, EPDP believes that cultural and community development is a common concern of all interested parties in the nation. As such, efforts shall be made to adopt the right policies and generate adequate funds from the state and concerned communities to vitalize national identity, through the development of fine arts, literature, music, drama, debates and through encouraging creativity.
Recognizing the role of sports in physical and psychological fitness as well as its place in Eritrean consciousness, efforts shall be made to offer academic and vocational education to strengthen sports activities and Eritrea’s competitive and successful participation in African and other sports tournaments.
8. MODERN INFRASTRUCTURE
EPDP will initiate to develop a modern infrastructure based on policy and programs guided by the national constitution. Regarding modern infrastructure, EPDP focuses on the following comprehensive policies.
8.1 Transport and Communication Technologies
Regarding transport and communication technologies EPDP will draw up policies and Programs pertinent to the objective. In order to implement and realize them; EPDP will cooperate with local and foreign private sector investors as well as international organizations.
The transport development policy of EPDP will be much focused on road infrastructure, new traffic routes, railway, airports and air transport, bridges, tunnels as well as ports and maritime transport. Transport is among the key sectors that play crucial roles in the effort to achieve sustainable economic growth and poverty reduction thereby bringing about sustainable development. In order for the transport sector to play its rightful role, it has to be developed in a coordinated manner, with the ultimate aim of bringing about a reliable, efficient, safe and environmentally sound system of moving passengers and goods.
A telecommunication system (postal services, telephone service and equipment, radio and television, mobile telephone, internet) is an economic and political imperative for the information age. The purpose will be to provide a network throughout the country which provides every citizen with the information required. The communication and information system needs to be better coordinated and more focused in its messages. It should strengthen the capability of the communication and equal development in all Eritrean regions. To do this, it will need to engage private sector investors.
8.2 Rural Development and Eradication of Poverty
- Rural Development is crucial part of development and sustainable poverty reduction in Eritrea. The majority citizens of Eritrea live in rural areas. The success of rural development activities largely lies in the performance of the agriculture and fishery sectors which employs the majority of the Eritreans. The agriculture sector in Eritrea has been plagued with recurrent droughts, environmental degradation and it has also been hampered by colonial powers and by poor economic policies of the ruling regime. Therefore, it has not been able to contribute to the overall economic growth of the country at full capacity. The rural development policy of EPDP will give emphasis to generating a viable, productive rural economy through activities such as irrigation program and water resources management. The overall objectives of the water resources management policy has to enhance and promote efforts towards an efficient, equitable, and optimum utilization of the available water resources and contribute to the country's rural development on sustainable basis.
- EPDP will give emphasis to generating and developing microcredit institutions in order to support the rural development. The main aim of such institutions will be to provide credit services and technical support to the farmers and agricultural cooperative.
- The vast majority of the population is supplied by energy from traditional biomass and fossil fuels. The sufficient supply of affordable energy throughout Eritrea will be the main objective of EPDP policy in the energy sector. The policy will provide the energy services based on a diversified supply of energy sources like natural gas and clean electricity. The implementation of the policy must be mindful of the desire to halt, and in some cases, reverse the recent trend in environmental degradation, and of the need to make the most effective use of limited resources, particularly in the initial stages of development.
8.3 Urban Growth and Development
All cities and towns of Eritrea are facing an increasing urban poverty, unplanned settlements, lack of basic services and infrastructure, including adequate water, electricity, sanitation and roads. As a result of the false land use policy of the Eritrean regime, there is also an extreme housing shortage.
An urban growth policy of EPDP will be much focused to ensure that land is reserved for the purpose in keeping with the rate of urban growth. It will also focus to ensure that problems surfacing during the implementation of the urban land-lease policy are speedily resolved. In order to implement and realize the policies and programs, EPDP will cooperate with local and foreign private sector investors.
9. EPDP’S INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS POLICY
The aim of our relations with any state is to promote our common interests. We particularly believe that friendly relations with neighboring countries based on respect for national sovereignty and non-interference in one another’s internal affairs will play a crucial role in achieving our collective goals. On our part, we will reject the isolationist and self-hurting policies of the existing regime, and, based on common interests and mutual understanding, we shall strive to achieve peace and mutual economic progress with all nations, in particular with neighboring peoples and governments.
EPDP will participate with commitment and diligence in solidarity with others to eradicate poverty, illiteracy, diseases and in providing aid to the most needy in the world. Since such efforts are consistent with EPDP’s basic principles, we will cooperate by taking the following steps:
- Promote friendly relations with regional and international political parties, which have programs and policies consistent with ours
- Strive to achieve peace, tranquility, and economic progress through cooperation among countries in the Horn of Africa
- Strive to create friendly relations with all countries based on mutual benefits, respect, non-interference in one another’s internal affairs, and respect for international agreements
- Use peaceful and diplomatic means to solve disagreements between nations
- Strive to make any trade and other relations with any nation to be just and mutually constructive
- Pursue policies opposed to discrimination and any form of repression
- EPDP will work closely with all governmental and non-governmental, national as well as international organizations, which are interested to operate in Eritrea in the economic, political and social spheres. We will particularly try to interest them to engage in economic development, eradication of poverty, health, education, reconstruction, resettlement of refugees, child welfare, development of human resources, regional protection, and others.
10. STRATEGY OF TRANSITION FROM DICTATORSHIP TO DEMOCRACY
The immediate objective of the EPDP is the removal of the dictatorial regime in Asmara which has obstructed the implementation of the mission and objectives of the Party. The Party is committed to nonviolent struggle as the means of removing the dictatorship and transiting to democratic system of governance in Eritrea.
The EPDP sees no choice other than replacing the regime by a democratic system. The Party broadly believes in a people-centered struggle. As such, all efforts shall be made to empower the people in the struggle for change and remain the right owners of their destiny. Springing from this conviction, the primary objective of the strategy for change is to mobilize and organize the entire population in the struggle for transition to democratic rule.
Based on the struggle to achieve its objectives and vision, the EPDP envisions the formation of alliances in the short and long terms with national forces that have vested interest for change and the formation of democratic governance in Eritrea. Alignment of the forces of struggle plays a role in national unity and emboldens common struggle in the struggle to remove the dictatorship and replace it by an enduring democratic system.
The Party is committed to ensure smooth transition to democratic rule after the fall of the dictatorship by the common struggle of our people. We shall do all what it takes to guarantee the full participation of all political tendencies and social components in the post-dictatorship government. To ensure this vision, EPDP shall work closely with all national forces that genuinely believe in the building of a stable and democratic state of Eritrea.
10.1 The Fall of PFDJ
Our Party firmly believes in nonviolent struggle as a sure path for transition from dictatorship to democratic governance. Based on this conviction, EPDP stall strive to mobilize and organize the Eritrean people to shorten the days of dictatorship in power.
10.2 Organizing Popular Awakening
The pillars holding PFDJ together are not firm. Those persons deployed in the army and the security apparatus are victims of the regime they serve and they know it. And it won’t be long before the segments of the population who still obey the regime start to reassert their rights by regaining lost confidence. It is on the basis of this firm conviction that our Party has adopted the strategic plan of awakening and organizing the broad Eritrean masses for a winning popular uprising.
It shall be proven soon that the control of state power by the dictatorial clique was only transitory that cannot prevent a people from determining its destiny. EPDP has full confidence in the power of the people to get rid of the regime and replace it by democratic system. To this end, the Party shall exert all efforts to make the people realize their potential and act on time.
- To speed up the pace of change, the proven means is mobilizing and organizing our people. Therefore, all our energies shall be invested on this critical effort. This requires struggling to reinstate confidence in the people by identifying and removing stumbling blocks that prevent popular mobilization inside the homeland and in the diaspora.
- EPDP shall relentlessly struggle to help the youth take up their decisive role as leaders and owners of the current struggle by overcoming the hurdles planted by the PFDJ.
- The Party shall see to it that the nonviolent struggle enables and empowers the Eritrean women to take up their historic role in struggle for change.
- The EPDP shall strive to free the Eritrean youth from the control of the regime under the deception of national service and make sure that they fight back for their rights and save their nation by playing a central role for change.
- The Party shall work to instill in the public the concept and tactics of nonviolent struggle as means for positive change.
- We shall struggle for establishing a unifying national motto for all while encouraging the multiplicity of popular organizations.
- The Party shall focus on mass mobilization and organization in an environment where the internal bickering of Eritrean organizations is managed properly.
- EPDP shall continue its clarion clear calls and appeals to the senior officers in the Eritrean defense forces to abandon the reprehensive regime and its corruptive tactics and instead take the side of their people in bringing about the downfall of the current dictatorship.
- The Party shall establish close relations with neighbors and other members of the international community that accept the truth that change in Eritrea should come only by the Eritrean people.
10.3 Mass Media
The Party shall give special attention to the development of media whose role is of great significance in the transition from dictatorship to democratic rule. Exposing in wider world arena details of the abuses of the regime will require well studied approaches in effective use of the mass media. Besides, efforts will be doubled to use mass media as a channel for mass mobilizations and organization.
10.3.1 Public awakening /uprising
The Eritrean people will conduct a committed struggle when they are convinced of what awaits for them after the fall of the current regime. To this end, it is up to us to win over the hearts and minds of the public by convincing them that what the opposition is doing represents the aspirations of the public. Thus, the mobilization and awareness education we conduct must be in a clear language that our people can understand.
Its objective must also be the empowerment of the people who become conscious of their basic human and political rights that they fight for. The EPDP will consider itself victorious to see a critical mass of the people aware with confidence its rights and duties because it is they who will play the central role in the transition from dictatorship to democracy.
10.3.1 Organizing the Public
The EPDP is of the conviction that solid organization is the guarantee for effective struggle and owned by the people. A public awakening and victory without effective organization can be hijacked by the wrong forces. They is why the Party believes in proper organization of the people in order to defend the fruits of their struggle.
10.3.2 Intensive diplomacy
The EPDP shall exert all what it can to rally international support for the struggle to transit from dictatorship to democracy by exposing all the abuses committed against the Eritrean people. In particular, EPDP shall continue efforts with neighbors of Eritrea to support and empower our people’s struggle for change.
10.4 Post-PFDJ Program
As we create the conditions that force PFDJ out of power, our Party shall strive to ensure the immediate formation of a transitional authority that can guarantee a stable and peaceful ground for the transition to democratic governance. EPDP shall relentlessly struggle to see that the new authority consists of representatives of existing political organizations civil society organs and the defense forces. The new government with clearly defined terms and time frame shall be mandated to transit the State to a democratic life.
10.4.1 Economic Revival in the Transition Period
In the transitional period, care shall be taken to prevent any economic hardship to the people by guaranteeing continuation of domestic production capacities and by providing tax incentives to Eritreans, including those in diaspora, to engage in trade and commerce. Efforts shall be made to avert any adverse economic situation by creating smooth relations with neighboring countries and the rest of the world. Likewise, the EPDP shall exert efforts to organize workshops and conferences for local and international experts to scrutinize and identify past mistakes in PFDJ policies and thus find the most suitable economic approaches to be followed in the new stage.
10.4.2 Building solid ground for transition to democracy
Knowing well the difficulties that could be encountered in the process towards building a new democratic future in a land where peace was a rare commodity, the Party shall do all what it can to ensure the prevalence of stability and security in the transition period. Therefore, we shall struggle to create an atmosphere suitable for reconciliation among the people. In addition, the following measures will be taken to secure the success of the transition period:
- The EPDP shall organize a national conference for reconciliation and forgiveness in which all civil society and political organizations take part equitably to adopt fundamental agreements on the transition period and draft and adopt a national constitution with the representation and participation of all stake holders in the new state.
- Drafting and adopting election laws by the transitional assembly on the basis of existing realities and learned experiences.
- New parties shall be registered after laws on formation of parties are drafted and adopted by the transitional assembly or council.
- Free and fair national elections shall be conducted by in the presence of international observers by a duly established Election Commission.
- The Party shall strive to ensure that press laws are adopted on time to allow the media channels and journalists to play a positive role in transition period.
- The Party shall struggle to ensure that workshops and conferences are organized to train people as trusted actors that guarantee the success of the transition period.
- Special attention shall be given to guarantee the provision of justice by addressing possible shortcomings in the court system. In this regard, a law on the establishment of human rights advocacy organizations shall be adopted to encourage the timely emergence of such organs.
- A free commission shall be formed to mediate and address political controversies that may arise during the transition period.
- Efforts shall be exerted to create programs that can help in the capacity building of political parties in order to have competitive parties in the new period.
10.4.3 Security in the transition period
To prevent any disorderly situation in the immediate aftermath of the dictatorship, it is imperative to have peace and security in order to ensure the success of the transition. For this end, it will be necessary form a new security system and authority under the new government by overhauling the old system without, however, destroying some positive aspects it may have. Likewise, efforts will be made to reorganize the national defense force to cope with the new situation. Leaving aside those who are not ready to serve under the new situation, other personnel and organs shall, after strict scrutiny, be encouraged and allowed to play critical roles in the transition. Communication of understanding shall be promoted among the citizens, the army and the police.
11. PUTTING INTO EFFECT AND AMENDING THIS POLITICAL PROGRAM
- This Political Program shall be put into effect as of the date of its adoption.
- The articles in this Political Program do not make gender differences: those mentioned in the masculine gender also apply for the feminine gender.
- It is the EPDP Congress that can fully or partially change this Program or amend any articles in it.
- Effort has been made to give clarity to all provisions in this Program. However, the EPDP Central Council can interpret any possible controversy over the meaning by a simple majority vote.
- In case of any need of inclusion of provisions or improvement thereof, the Central Council is authorized to do so by a vote of 75% of members. The inclusion or amendment shall be consistent with the objectives and spirit of this Program.
Victory to the Eritrean People’s Democratic Struggle for Change!
31 July – 4 August 2011