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Should Eritrea Have Constitution Day National Holiday?

“Today 23 May 1997, on this historic date, after active popular participation, approve and solemnly ratify, through the Constituent Assembly, this Constitution as the fundamental law of our Sovereign and Independent State of Eritrea.” We are

“Today 23 May 1997, on this historic date, after active popular participation, approve and solemnly ratify, through the Constituent Assembly, this Constitution as the fundamental law of our Sovereign and Independent State of Eritrea.”

We are in the middle of the Japanese “Golden Week” as many Japanese workers get about a week off around the end of April and beginning of May. This is because there is cluster of national holidays during this time. Constitution Memorial Day is a national holiday in Japan it takes place on May third in celebration of the promulgation of the 1947 Constitution of Japan.

Isaias_stepJapan is not the only nation that celebrates and honours its constitution in fact here is a list of over 50 nations that do. Constitution Day or Citizens Day as commonly referred in USA or Human Rights Day in South Africa or Republic Day of Uruguay is often celebrated on the anniversary of the signing, promulgation or adoption of the constitution, or in some cases, to commemorate the change to constitutional monarchy.

In many countries constitutional law is the cornerstone of democracy, freedom, human rights justice and liberty. These values are universal values and the highest human values there is; it is a very big deal because there is no higher value than Democracy no matter how you slice it, dice it, which is why the reason some nations celebrate and honouring constitutional law by devoting a national holiday to it.

Eritrea has a National Constitution; the 1997 Constitution was intended to be the cornerstone of democracy, justice and human rights in Eritrea. The constitution hasn’t being implemented for over fifteen years since it was shelved by Isaias Afwerki and his gang soon after it was ratified by the Eritrean National Assembly in the eve of Independence day, May 23 of 1997. Although May 23 is widely celebrated in Eritrea NOT because it was a historical and significant date on its own right but because it happen to be a day before May 24 “Independence Day” which is also another historical and significant date in Eritrea’s history.

President Isaias Afewerki and his gang would like us to believe that our national constitution is just a “worthless piece of paper” as the snake head himself repeatedly told us without any shame.

Do you think May 23 should be called Constitution Day or Citizens Day and it should be Eritrea’s national holiday to celebrate and honour our greatest values?

I believe it should be our Golden Day to celebrate and honour our constitution, combined with Independence Day our Golden Week. Because that is exactly what the date May 23 and May 24 signifies to us Eritreans.

  • President Isaias Afewerki represents: Slavery and Tyranny
  • While the Eritrean Constitution represents: Freedom, Democracy, Justice and Liberty

Whoever that choice President Isaias Afewerki over the Constitution has to be an animal and should be threated likewise.

Filmon Habtom.




Review overview
  • Natnael May 7, 2015

    Your question:

    Do you think May 23 should be called Constitution Day or Citizens Day and it should be Eritrea’s national holiday to celebrate and honour our greatest values?

    My answer:
    It is only Mr Afewerki who gives or takes the [probably modified] 1997 constitution, not the citizens! The people can only demand and wait. If one wants to shorten the change phase then demands can be adressed only with the mouth of a gun, not with the mouth of a man! A change proces without bloodshed needs great patience and the outcome has a small probability to achieve the goal.

    As long as the 1-man DIA-show runs you have no right even to ask a question – period.

  • Zemuy May 7, 2015

    You have brought a good point and completely agree with you on the idea that 23rd of May should be considered as the constitution or citizens day.
    I believe, the constitution is what brings justice, peace within the country and equality among citizens. Just independence is nothing if there is no working constitution that is ratified by the citizens. Therefore, we Eritreans should celebrate the 23rd of May as the Constitution Day.

    I thank you for the wonderful idea.

  • kk May 7, 2015

    I would suggest that the day we Eritreans get rid of DIA and his gangs and reinstate our Constitution our freedom and our liberty that should be the national day in which we can have a day or a week off

  • Tesfit May 7, 2015

    Eritrea should have the constitution itself first.
    What’s the point arguing about unborn child’s name!

  • Timnit May 7, 2015

    Isaias’s intention was and is never drafting a constitution nor institution that checks his hidden agendas. The aim of having it then and revisiting it again is nothing more than buying time as he did then and still hopes to be so for a while. He lives in hiding any action he intends to perform, prefers not to give any clue where he directs his goals nor gives any and he also keeps everybody in darkness, knowing little if any. After 30 yrs in the field and 24 yrs on your helm and still not knowing this wolf equally mean we are all idiots easily manipulated and brain washed by this dead man walking with his worshipers.

    • rezen May 7, 2015

      Please, let me own your words and declare for myself that:


      I would repeat it a thousand times, if it absolves a tiny, tiny, tiny bit of my guilt.

      ሓቂ ተዛሪብካ <<<< finish it for me, please, with appropriate words. Thanks, in advance.

  • TeAzabi May 7, 2015

    Esayas’s constitution will get him to his well-deserved grave and hell very soon.

  • Lingo May 7, 2015

    Lets get this one : DIA will never get you a functional constitution.
    Constitution is a law, the mother of all laws at that. DIA will never accept a restraining law
    unless really forced. Hitler was once asked if he reads fictional books. His answer was : “If I need one,
    I write one.” DIA will never willingly agree to have a constitution that regulates and restricts his power.
    And if he has to, he will write one in any way that he only likes and reads it.

    We have other priorities to work on before getting into a constitution or Eritrea having constitution day national holiday thing. Before the debate of constitution day or constitution national day the country needs to become free – free from over-militarized posture, free from isolation and above all free from the so called “liberators” of Eritrea and Eritreans.

  • rezen May 9, 2015

    Subject: Should Eritrea Have Constitution Day National Holiday? by Filmon Habtom, 6 May 2015

    Thank you Lingo for your frank commentary (7 May 2015) on the subject. The time is way over due for Eritreans to come around and be true to themselves. Enough is enough! The age-old artificial superiority complex didn’t serve Eritrea. Eritrea is neither superior nor inferior to any country in Africa.
    At present, Eritrea is at the very bottom of world scale in any socio-political and economic factors. We are free to deny it, at our consequential disastrous result at the end of the ‘road’. In this context, the trumpeting of the need for a little booklet called Constitution is nothing more than a charade. Issayas knew it; the scholars must have been ambivalent about it based on their vast knowledge of world history; and the wise humble people of Eritrea heard of it with no excitement. Only the Diaspora touted about it for hollow bravado. A little story is in order here: It was in Cinema Capitol in Asmara, a gathering to hear the Creator of the Constitution. A gentleman from the audience rose and politely requested for a chance to speak. He was granted. In articulate manner, he said in Tigrigna, of course, “Honourable Doctor — You know everything about the subject more than any one — and what do we know about it? — and why don’t You Sir just finish it by yourself and give us the book?” The Chairman was gracious; smiled and said something about the historical document being People’s precious document; the People being Supreme Body in a Free Nation; and that People should scrutinize it, modify it and approve it >>> something to that hollow effect. There was no question from the floor or correction and the public meeting was over. The rest of the story about that little blue book [ 6” x 4” appx] was exactly the way it was expected to be from the very beginning: A gimmick, albeit through diverse prisms!
    Issayas used it to gain international recognition and respectability — it is that simple. And in fact he was recognized as one of two recipients of the Title: The Renaissance Person of Africa, by no less than the President of the United States of America!!! Had it not occurred in our life time, it would have been taken as the greatest hoax story of the time!
    And, how about the scholars? First and foremost they failed to understand the psychopathic nature of Issayas and his determination to have it his way. Or, did they give a blind eye and deaf ear to Issayas’ behaviour for their own agenda too, thinking that their mental acuity would overpower the first-year college drop-out? Alas! It was the greatest fatal of miscalculation. A volume can be written about the behaviour of Eritrean Intellectuals throughout the deterioration of Eritrea. That may happen in due course.

    As to the constitution, it is a dead issue. Where do we go from here? We can keep on squabbling among ourselves and let Time solve the problem of Eritrea with the usual ‘God Knows’ attitude. With that attitude Eritrea would be emptied as well as disintegrated into pieces at the mercy of external forces.
    Or we can be TRUE to ourselves; LEARN from the past; and hop-onto a NEW SHIP with Eritrean Scholars, for a change co-operating among themselves without insidious diplomatic antagonism to each other, and be at the helm of the ship, adjusting the course , and forge ahead to reach our destination. Can we do that? THE END

  • koreri May 9, 2015

    Exellent idea but, who should be first the horse or the cart…. first let’s cross the bridge. ….. in mother’s tongue; ente kinbrkut theykinbrkut si ab may thelewo nibtsah.