Elections under PFDJ dictatorship
On Saturday, May 15, 2004, Voice of Eritrea was broadcasting the progress of the general "elections" that will take place in the cities and regions of our country. A recent commentary from PFDJ was, roughly translated from Tigrinia, that "we know democracy and the Eritrean people practiced long time". They have come a long way from saying that our people are not ready for democracy. Election is a good word to hear for Eritreans and their world wide friends. As an opposition organization, we like to hear it too even though we know it is unconstitutional and undemocratic.
Our readers may react negatively to the above sentence and we clearly understand that. If the elections are undemocratic and to top it off unconstitutional, what is there to hear in them? Stay with us and we will get you there by starting with what PFDJ was saying not too long ago. We will analyze what is behind the sudden propaganda serge of elections by the PFDJ media.
Background: In 1991, ELF-RC called for a dialogue with the then provisional government. It publicly announced that it is ready to function from within Eritrea as a competitive party and help in building the country. The news was world wide publicized that a team lead by Ahmad Nasser, an ELF-RC chairman at that time, was ready to go to Asmara. Isayas changed his mind the last minute once he figured out that ELF-RC was not going to be at his service, was capable of challenging him, and had wide acceptance by the people. The meeting never happened. This fact tells us that PFDJ is not serious about establishing a democratic government where there is real political competition in the country. Banning competition is the surest way for it to remain the only party and therefore the only power in town.
The first decree of Isayas was a Tigrinia statement in his speech which sent the message that there is no room for parties/opposition organization in Eritrea. The ban of opposition parties has not been lifted since then. To the contrary , members of opposition are hunted and kidnapped even from neighboring countries. In fact, PFDJ imprisoned 11 high ranking officials in the party and in the government on September 18, 2001 taking advantage the fact that the U.S.A. and the world were preoccupied with the terrorist attack of September 11. They have not been charged formally nor have they been brought to justice in a court of law. They have been charged via the PFDJ media of treason. We leave it to the imagination of our readers through out the world the kind of elections that will take place in a country, where even high ranking officials are jailed for criticizing the government and calling for a meeting to debate the shortfall of the government.
By now, the Eritrean people have come to know what PFDJ is and who its drivers are. It is becoming clearer day by day the world is learning what the Eritrean people have come to understand and what ELF-RC has known and warned of since 1991.
PFDJ response to our call for the implementation of a democratic system for a long time, since the independence of our country in 1991, is presented below in blue ink and is also underlined. Our analysis and comments follow each underlined blue item:
ELF-RC Stand: The stand and views of our organization is outlined on the recent Tigrinia Editorial from our News and Cultural Office. ELF-RC categorically rejects the PFDJ ploy being played on our people and the world to improve its shattered dictatorial image. The only time ELF-RC would see the election as legitimate and a step forward is when the following criteria are met:
Conclusion: Mr. Alamin Mohamad Said, one of the leaders of PFDJ recently told Voice of America, a Tigrinia broadcasting program in the USA, that the recent elections are not based on or associated with the constitution. This says it all, doesn't it?
We understand that our people inside the country do not have any choice but to comply and do as they are told in the elections. There is no independent national press which can represent the true feelings and mood of our people on the so called elections. We call on Eritreans in the Diaspora to open their eyes and act according to what is good for the future generation of Eritrea. They should stand against the announced election which is more or less an insult of our martyrs and the intelligence of our people.
We call on the international community not to be fooled by the old PFDJ tactics. PFDJ is spending huge amount of money by hiring three lobbying firms in the United States despite the hunger and poverty under which our people are suffering. This election exercise is another public relations attempt.
Thank you for reading
The Nharnet Team
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