Eritrea’s government is described as a single party presidential republic where the President serves as both the head of government and head of state. Eritrea became an Italian colony in the late 19th century after which it was incorporated into Ethiopia. It was not until April 27, 1993, that Eritrea was formally declared independent after years of armed struggle. The constitution sets out the framework for governance of the nation and was ratified by the National Assembly in 1997, although it has yet to be implemented.
President Of Eritrea
The position of the presidency in the country has been held by Isaias Afwerki Tigrinya since 1993. National elections in the country are continuously postponed. Although the Constitution allows for multi-party politics, the People’s Front for Democracy and Justice is the nation’s ruling and legal party. President Isaias was elected by the National Assembly in 1993 after independence. He currently exercises many legislative and executive duties, most of which go unchecked. The president appoints ministers and chairs sessions of the cabinet. He receives other heads of states and represents the nation in other countries. The government system of Eritrea under President Isaias has been termed as authoritarian due to cases of imprisonment without trial, torture, and media censorship.
The Executive Branch Of The Government Of Eritrea
The President is tasked with the appointment of ministers as well as other officials in authorities, commissions, and government agencies. The cabinet consists of 18 ministers who implement government policies, laws, and regulations. The ministries include finance, justice, defence, education, tourism, and agriculture. The constitution stipulates that the cabinet’s policies should be approved by the National Assembly making the Ministers accountable to Parliament.
The Legislative Branch Of The Government Of Eritrea
The National Assembly, which was constituted after independence, consists of 75 representatives from the People’s Front for Democracy and Justice in addition to other 75 members ‘popularly elected’. Elections to the Chamber have not been held since then. The National Assembly drafts the government’s internal and external policies and monitors their implementation. It also appoints the president and approves the proposed budget. In each of the country’s six zones are lower regional assemblies tasked in formulating a local agenda. Representatives to the assemblies are popularly elected. Decisions of the assemblies can be overruled by the National Assembly. The constitution establishes the assembly as the government’s strongest branch.
The Judicial Branch Of The Government Of Eritrea
Judicial matters in Eritrea are overseen by a network of local, regional, and national courts. At the top of the hierarchy is the national High Court which serves as the highest court of appeal. Original cases are given audience by three judges while a panel of five judges listens to final appeals. Under the High Court are regional courts which hear appeals from the community courts. There are 683 community courts spread across Eritrea. A panel of three judges sits in a community court, and it observes the local customs and rules. A total number of 2,049 magistrates serve the nation’s community courts.
Administration Of Eritrea
For administration purposes, the country consists of 6 regions which are further broken down into 55 districts/sub-zobas. The regions are established after consideration of an area’s hydrological resources to give region autonomy over its agricultural capacity and also to quell historical intra-regional disputes. The six regions are Central, Southern Red Sea, Anseba, Northern Red Sea, Southern, and Gash-Barka.