Eritrean men when getting together the subject that arises for discussion is politics. Get two or more Eritrean’s together and you will find yourself in deep discussion on political issues which leads to arguments. These discussions are never about economic growth, industrial policy, fiscal policy, inflation, unemployment and social justice but always about DEMOCRACY. Those pretentious Eritrean oppositions claim that there is no democracy in Eritrea and wants change. They want to dethrone the present regime and sit on the throne. Having little understanding of the Eritrean people’s thought, political development and wishes. All I can say to these poor souls is: may God bring sanity to you.
In May 2014 President Isaias spoke “We are going to compose the constitution” “People’s Front for Democracy and Justice (PFDJ); needs to modernize and become more effective political organisation”. Time has arrived for PFDJ to concentrate on the political and economic development of Eritrea now that the ill-wishers, destabilisers, and defeatist have crumpled.
The nation has ascertained its existence as a strong state and not to be played with. Not since the days of the Kings, when Eritrea starched from the seas to the Abyssinian lands has it been so peaceful, strong and influential. Sabotage, ill will of nations and challenges put forth by its enemies have been defeated. It is now high time to move forward to attain its political destiny. Eritreans want none of the rubbish fake democracy. Eritrea’s governance is based on equality, justice, diversity in unity and prosperous quality of life. Good governance include more substantive principle than sham democracy. What we need is Governance with legal constraints, tailored to local realities and a government that is devoted to its people and increase economic opportunity. Eritrea does have institutions, social forces and effective, efficient and genuine leadership. At this juncture Eritrea doesn’t need phony democracy but strong centralised governance that will bring rapid economic and political development.
In his book The coming Anarchy, Kaplan states; “Democracy or free election should come after free market had produced enough economic and social development to make democracy sustainable. Middle class and civil institutions are precondition for stable democracy and are bi-product of a free market”. He goes on to say Contrasting Lee Kuan Yew’s prosperous authoritarian Singapore with the killings, “bloodletting democratic states of Columbia and Rwanda” Kaplan strongly criticises America’s post-Cold War undertaking to export democracy abroad, to places where it can’t succeed”. Why then are we Eritreans always arguing about Democracy?
Eritrea is a country that came to be with shared sacrifices. Family value is supreme and the individual exists in the context of the family rather than the western value of individualism which democracy is all about. As a nation Eritrea has no minorities’ who dominate the economy, equality is the motto. Eritrea after independence started rebuilding its economy; had attained remarkable progress in its economy and was working on a political transition to be governed by constitutional governance. These progresses were interrupted in 1998 by Ethiopia’s TPLF Weyane regime and their handlers by waging war of aggression. Ideals of self-reliance became a cause for Western nations to gang up on Eritrea to divert the nation from its economic and political development. Nevertheless; Eritrea did not blink; it diverted its resources to generate growth. Socioeconomic reforms were put in place “leveling the playing field’. Social justice and educational opportunities were expanded to the rural areas to bring the impoverished majority to compete successfully with the urban rich. Wealth balances through intervention on behalf of an economically disadvantage group was placed owing to progressive taxation and subsides. The sum of all begets a wealthy nation fulfilling the prerequisite for a politically stable country. Transforming the nation into middle income country with a large majority of middle class.
Today we are witnessing voter suppression in the USA. Georgia, Texas and Arizona are introducing laws that will discourage minority voters from participating in the election system. In Libya only 1.5m people in a population of 6m had registered to vote. Turnout was only 630,000, according to state officials. Democracy is practiced by minority of the population for the benefit of the elite. Still democracy is being forced upon developing nation without consideration to their readiness. One man one vote may not be the best system or parliamentarian proportional representation may not fit Eritrea. Bottom-up local village election with majority participation may be the best way to govern. Eritrea’s Political reforms are gaining ground. In Eritrea there are open local elections for administrators, judges and district officials to run the local governance. The election offers a vital measure of political participation and more significantly, legitimate competitive election as an important part of the political process. There have been many improvements (rightly so); in granting citizens far more economic and personal freedoms that Eritreans have enjoyed since independence.
Eritrea is marching to urbanisation, economic modernisation and attain a middle class society and has no hindrance in implementing representative governance. From inception Eritrean People Liberation Front ideals were to first; free the nation from its colonisers, second; to develop the country economically and third; to attain a classless democratic nation. These are the mission and visions of all Eritreans. Diaspora’s men should stop bickering about democracy and start a positive discussion on subjects of concerns the likes of recovery tax, economic and investment opportunities, Institutional governance and expanding social justice.