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Mendefera (Adi Ugri)
Semenawi Bahri (Filfil)
We the people of Eritrea, united in a common struggle for our rights and common
destiny, standing on the solid ground of unity and justice bequeathed by our
martyrs and combatants: With Eternal Gratitude to the scores of thousands of our
martyrs who sacrificed their lives for the causes of our rights and
independence, during the long and heroic revolutionary struggle for liberation,
and to the courage and steadfastness of our Eritrean patriots;
Aware that it is the sacred duty of all Eritreans to build a strong and
developed Eritrea on the bases of freedom, unity, peace, stability and security
achieved through the long struggle of all Eritreans, which tradition we must
cherish, preserve and develop;
Realizing that in order to build a developed country, it is necessary that the
unity, equality, love for truth and justice, self-reliance, and hard work, which
we nurtured during our revolutionary struggle for independence and which helped
us to triumph, must become the core of our national values;
Appreciating the fact that for the development and health of our society, it is
necessary that we inherit and improve upon the traditional community-based
assistance and fraternity, love for family, respect for elders, mutual respect
Convinced that the recognition, protection and securing of the rights and
freedoms of citizens, human dignity, equality will guarantee a balanced
development; lay down the groundwork for satisfying the material and spiritual
needs of citizens; usher in a democratic order that is responsive to the needs
and interests of citizens, guarantees their participation and brings about
economic development, social progress and harmony;
Noting the fact that the Eritrean women's heroic participation in the struggle
for independence and solidarity based on equality and mutual respect generated
by such struggle will serve as an unshakable foundation for our commitment and
struggle to create a society in which women and men shall interact on the bases
of mutual respect, fraternity and equality;
Desirous that the Constitution we are adopting will be a covenant between us and
the government we will be structuring by our free will and serve as a means for
governing in harmony this and the future generation; and for bringing about
justice and peace, founded on democracy, national unity and the rule of law;
today ..., on this historic date, after active popular participation, approve
and solemnly ratify officially, through the Constituent Assembly, this
Constitution as the fundamental law of our Sovereign and Independent State of
Chapter I General Provisions
Article 1 The State of Eritrea and its Territory
(1) Eritrea is a sovereign and independent State founded on the principles of
democracy, social justice and the rule of law.
(2) The territory of Eritrea consists of all its territories,
including the islands, territorial waters and airspace, delineated by
internationally recognized boundaries.
(3) In the State of Eritrea, sovereign power is vested in the people, who shall
exercise such power through their representatives, duly elected pursuant to the
procedures authorized by the provisions of this Constitution.
(4) The State that is to be established by a democratic process to represent the
people's sovereignty shall have strong institutions, capable of accommodating
people's participation and of serving as foundation of a viable democratic and
(5) The State of Eritrea shall have a unitary government divided into units of
local government. The powers and duties of these units shall be determined by law.
Article 2 Supremacy of the Constitution
(1) This Constitution is the legal expression of the sovereignty of the Eritrean
(2) This Constitution enunciates the principles on which the State is to be
based and guided by and determines the organization and operation of government.
It is the source of government legitimacy and the guarantor for the protection
of the rights, freedoms and dignity of citizens and of just administration.
(3) This Constitution is the supreme law of the country and the source of all
laws of the State, and all laws, orders and acts contrary to its letter and
spirit shall be null and void.
(4) All organs of the State, all public and private associations and
institutions and all citizens shall be bound by and remain loyal to the
Constitution and shall ensure its observance.
(5) Pursuant to the provisions of this Constitution and other laws, the conduct
of the affairs of government and all organizations and institutions shall be
accountable and transparent.
(6) This Constitution shall serve as a basis for instilling constitutional
culture and for enlightening and ensuring that organizations of the State and
citizens respect fundamental human rights and duties.
Article 3 Citizenship
(1) Any person born of an Eritrean father or mother is an Eritrean by birth.
(2) Any foreign citizen may acquire Eritrean citizenship pursuant to law.
(3) The details concerning citizenship shall be regulated by law.
Article 4 National Symbols and Languages
(1) The Eritrean Flag shall have green, red and blue colors with golden olive
leaves located at the center. The exact description of the Flag shall be
determined by law.
(2) Eritrea shall have a National Anthem and a Coat of Arms
appropriately reflecting the history and the aspiration of its people. The
details of the National Anthem and the Coat of Arms shall be determined by law.
(3) The equality of all Eritrean languages is guaranteed.
Article 5 Gender Reference
Without consideration to the gender wording of any provision in this
Constitution, all of its articles shall apply equally to both genders.
Chapter II National Objectives and Directive Principles
Article 6 National Unity and Stability
(1) As the people and government struggle to establish a united and developed
Eritrea, within the context of the diversity of Eritrea, they shall be guided by
the basic principle Unity in
(2) The State shall strengthen the stability and development of the country by
encouraging democratic dialogue and national consensus through participation of
all citizens; by building strong political, cultural and moral foundation; and
by promoting national unity and social harmony.
(3) The State shall ensure peace and stability by establishing appropriate
institutions that encourage people's participation and by creating the necessary
conditions capable of guaranteeing, hastening and engendering equitable economic
and social progress.
Article 7 Democratic Principles
(1) It is a fundamental principle of the State to guarantee its citizens broad
and active participation in all political, economic, social and cultural life of
(2) Any act that violates the human rights of women or limits or otherwise
thwarts their role and participation is prohibited.
(3) There shall be established necessary institutions to encourage and develop
people's participation and initiative in the areas where they reside.
(4) Pursuant to the provisions of this Constitution and laws enacted pursuant
thereto, all Eritreans, without distinction, are guaranteed equal opportunity to
participate in any positions of leadership in the country.
(5) The organization and operation of all political and public associations and
movements shall be guided by the principle of national unity and democracy.
(6) The State shall create the necessary conditions for establishing a
democratic, political culture defined by the development of free and critical
thinking, tolerance and national consensus.
Article 8 Competent Justice System
(1) The justice system of Eritrea shall be independent, competent and
accountable pursuant to the provisions of the Constitution and laws.
(2) Courts shall work under a judicial system that is capable of producing fast
and equitable judgments and that can easily be understood by and is accessible
to all the people.
(3) Judges shall be free from corruption or discrimination and, in rendering
their judgment, they shall make no distinctions among persons.
(4) The State shall encourage out-of-court settlement of disputes through
conciliation, mediation or arbitration.
Article 9 Competent Public Administration
(1) Eritrea shall have an efficient, effective and accountable public service.
(2) All administrative institutions shall be free from corruption,
discrimination and delay in the delivery of services.
Article 10 Economic and Social Development
(1) The State shall endeavor to create opportunities to ensure the fulfillment
of citizens' rights to social justice and the economic development and to
fulfill their material and spiritual needs.
(2) The State shall work to bring about a balanced and sustainable development
throughout the country, and shall use all available means to ensure all citizens
to improve their livelihood in a sustainable manner, through their development.
(3) The State shall have the responsibility to regulate all land, water and
natural resources and to ensure their management in a balanced and sustainable
manner and in the interest of the present and future generations; and to create
the right conditions for securing the participation of the people to
safeguard the environment.
Article 11 National Culture
(1) The State shall have the responsibility of creating and maintaining the
necessary conditions for enriching national culture, which is the expression of
national identity and unity and progress of the Eritrean people.
(2) The State shall encourage the values of community solidarity and the love
and respect of family.
(3) The State shall promote the development of arts, sport and science and
technology and shall create an enabling environment for individuals to work in
an atmosphere of freedom and manifest their creativity and innovation.
Article 12 National Defense and Security
(1) Defense and security forces of Eritrea shall owe allegiance to and defend
the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the country, the Constitution and
the government established pursuant thereto.
(2) Defense and security forces are an integral part of society, and shall be
productive and respectful of the people.
(3) The defense and security of Eritrea are rooted on the people and on their
(4) The defense and security forces shall be subject and accountable to the law,
shall be competent and pass these requirements for posterity.
Article 13 Foreign Policy
The foreign policy of Eritrea is based on respect for the independence and
sovereignty of countries and on promoting the interest of regional and
international peace, cooperation, harmony and development.
Chapter III Fundamental Rights, Freedoms, and Duties
Article 14 Equality under the Law
(1) All persons are equal
before the law.
(2) No person may be discriminated against on account of race, ethnic origin,
language, color, sex, religion, disability, political belief or opinion, or
social or economic status or any other factors.
(3) The National Assembly shall, pursuant to the provisions of this Article,
enact laws that can assist in eliminating inequalities existing in the Eritrean
Article 15 Right to Life and Liberty
(1) No person shall be deprived of life without due process of law.
(2) No person shall be deprived of liberty without due process of law.
Article 16 Right to Human Dignity
(1) The dignity of all persons shall be inviolable.
(2) No person shall be subject to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading
treatment or punishment.
(3) No person shall be held in slavery or servitude or required to perform
forced labor not authorized by law.
Article 17 Arrest, Detention and Fair Trial
(1) No person may be arrested or detained save pursuant to due process of law.
(2) No person shall be tried or convicted for any act or omission which did not
constitute a criminal offence at the time when it was committed.
(3) Every person arrested or detained shall be informed of the grounds for his
arrest or detention and the rights he has in
connection with his arrest or detention in a language he understands.
(4) Every person who is arrested and detained in custody shall be brought before
the court within forty-eight (48) hours of his arrest, and if this is not
reasonably possible, as soon as possible thereafter, and no such person shall be
detained in custody beyond such period without the authority of the court.
(5) Every person shall have the right to petition the court for a Writ of Habeas
Corpus. Where the arresting officer fails to bring him before the court of law
and provide the reason for their arrest, the court shall accept the petition and
order the release of the prisoner.
(6) Every person charged with an offence shall be entitled to a fair and public
hearing by a court of law; provided, however, that such a court may exclude the
press and/or the public from all or any part of the trial for reasons of morals,
the public order or national security, as is necessary in a just and democratic
(7) A person charged with an offence shall be presumed to be innocent, and shall
not be punished, unless he is found guilty by a court.
(8) Where an accused is convicted, he shall have the right to appeal. No person
shall be liable to be tried again for any criminal offence on which judgment has been rendered.
Article 18 Right to Privacy
(1) Every person shall have the right to privacy.
(2) No person shall be subjected to unlawful search, including his home or other
property; there shall be no unlawful entry of his premises and no unlawful
seizure of his personal possessions; nor shall the privacy of his
correspondence, communication or other property be violated.
Article 19 Freedom of Conscience, Religion, Expression of
Opinion, Movement, Assembly and Organization
(1) Every person shall have the right to freedom of thought, conscience and
(2) Every person shall have the freedom of speech and expression
, which include freedom of the press and other media.
(3) Every citizen shall have the right of access to information.
(4) Every person shall have the freedom to practice any religion and to manifest
(5) All persons shall have the right to assemble and to demonstrate together
with others peaceably.
(6) Every citizen shall have the right to form organizations for political,
social, economic and cultural ends; and to practice any profession, or engage in
any occupation or trade.
(7) Every citizen shall have the right to move freely throughout Eritrea or
reside and settle in any part thereof.
(8) Every citizen shall have the right to leave and return to Eritrea and to be
provided with passport or any other travel documents.
Article 20 Right to Vote and to be a Candidate to an Elective Office
Every citizen who fulfills the requirements of the electoral law shall have the
right to vote or to campaign to be elected to any office of leadership in
Article 21 Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and Responsibilities
(1) Every citizen shall have the right of equal access to publicly funded social
services. The State shall endeavor, within the limit of its resources, to make
available to all citizens health, education, cultural and other social services.
(2) The State shall secure, within available means, the social welfare of all
citizens and particularly those disadvantaged.
(3) Every citizen shall have the right to engage freely in any economic activity
and to pursue a livelihood.
(4) The State and society shall have the responsibility of identifying,
preserving, developing, when necessary, and bequeathing to succeeding generation
historical and cultural heritage; shall lay the necessary groundwork for the
development of arts, sport, science and technology; and shall encourage citizens
to participate in such endeavors.
(5) The National Assembly shall enact laws that guarantee and secure the social
welfare of citizens and other rights and responsibilities listed in this
Article 22 Family
(1) The family is the natural and fundamental unit of society and is entitled to
the protection and special care of the State and society.
(2) Men and women of full legal age shall have the right, upon their consent, to
marry and to found a family freely, without any discrimination and they shall
have equal rights and duties as to all family affairs.
(3) Parents have the right and duty to bring up their children with proper care
and affection; and, in turn, children have the right and the duty to respect
their parents and to sustain them in their old age.
Article 23 Right to Property
(1) Subject to the provisions of Sub-Article 2 of this Article, any citizen
shall have the right, any where in Eritrea, to acquire, own, and dispose of all
property individually or in association with others and to bequeath to his heirs or
(2) All land, water and natural resources below and above the surface of the
territory of Eritrea belongs to the State. Usufruct rights of citizens shall be
determined by law.
(3) The State or any of its organs authorized by law may expropriate property in
the national or public interest, subject to the payment of just compensation and
in accordance with due process of law.
Article 24 Administrative Justice
(1) Any person with a complaint shall have the right to be heard respectfully by
administrative officials and to receive appropriate and quick answer from them.
(2) Any person whose rights or interests are interfered with or threatened shall
have the right to seek due administrative redress.
Article 25 Duties of Citizens
All citizens shall have the duty to:
1. owe allegiance to Eritrea, strive for its development and promote its
2. be ready to defend the country;
3. complete one's duty in the National Service;
4. advance national unity and the well-being of the people;
5. know, respect and defend the Constitution;
6. respect the rights and freedoms of others;
7. respect the rule of law and comply with the requirements of the law.
Article 26 Limitation Upon Fundamental Rights and Freedoms
(1) The fundamental rights and freedoms guaranteed under this Constitution may
be limited only in so far as is necessary in a just and democratic society in
the interests of national security, public safety or the economic well-being of
the country, health or morals, for the prevention of public disorder or crime or
the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.
(2) Any law providing for the limitation of the fundamental rights and freedoms
guaranteed in this Constitution must:
a) be consistent with the principles of a just and democratic society; b) be of
general application and not negate the essential content
of the right or freedom in question; c) specify the ascertainable extent of
such limitation and identify the Article or Articles hereof on which authority
to enact such limitation is claimed to rest.
(3) Notwithstanding the provisions of Sub-Article 1 of this Article and other
Articles of this Constitution to the contrary, the fundamental rights and
freedoms guaranteed under Articles 14 (1) and (2), 17
(2), 19 (4) of this Constitution shall not be limited.
Article 27 State of Emergency
(1) At a time when public safety or the security or stability of the State is
threatened by external invasion, by civil disorder or by natural disaster, the
President may by a proclamation published in the Gazette of Eritrean Laws
declare that a state of emergency exists in Eritrea or any part thereof.
(2) A declaration under Sub-Article 1 hereof shall not become effective unless
approved by a resolution passed by a two-thirds majority votes of all members of
the National Assembly. In the case of a declaration made when the National
Assembly is session, the declaration shall be presented within two days after
its publication, or otherwise the National Assembly shall be summoned to meet
and approve the publication within thirty days of its declaration.
(3) A declaration approved by the National Assembly pursuant to Sub-Article 2
hereof shall continue to be in force until the expiration of a period of six
months after such approval. The National Assembly may, by a resolution of
two-thirds majority votes of all its members, extend its approval of the
declaration for periods of three months at a time.
(4) The National Assembly may by resolution at any time revoke a declaration
approved by it pursuant to the provisions of this Article.
(5) Any measures undertaken or laws enacted pursuant to a declaration of a state
of emergency shall not: a) suspend Article 26 (3) of the
Constitution; b) grant pardon or amnesty to any person or persons who, acting
under the authority of the State, have committed illegal acts; or
c) introduce martial law when no external invasion exists or civil disorder
Article 28 Enforcement of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms
(1) Save in so far as it may be authorized to do so by this Constitution, the
National Assembly or any subordinate legislative authority shall not make any
law, and the Executive and the agencies of government shall not take any action
which abolishes or abridges the fundamental rights and freedoms conferred by
this Constitution. Any law or action in violation thereof shall be null and
(2) Aggrieved persons who claim that a fundamental right or freedom guaranteed
by this Constitution has been denied or violated shall be entitled to approach a
competent court to enforce or protect such a right or freedom. Where the court
ascertains that such fundamental right or freedom has been denied or violated,
the court shall have the power to make all such orders as shall be necessary to
secure such applicants the enjoyment of such fundamental right or freedom, and
where such applicants suffer damage, to include an award of monetary
Article 29 Residual Rights
The rights enumerated in this Chapter shall not preclude other rights which
ensue from the spirit of this Constitution and the principles of a society based
on social justice, democracy and the rule of law.
Chapter IV The National Assembly
Article 30 Representation of the People
(1) Any Eritrean citizen, of eighteen years of age or more, shall have the right
(2) The National Assembly shall enact an electoral law, which shall prescribe for and ensure the
representation and participation of the Eritrean people.
Article 31 Establishment and Duration of the National Assembly
(1) There shall be a National Assembly which shall be a supreme representative
and legislative body.
(2) The National Assembly shall be composed of representatives elected by the
(3) Members of the National Assembly shall be elected by direct and secret
ballot by all citizens who are qualified to vote. (4) Members of the National
Assembly are representatives of the Eritrean peoples as a whole. In discharging
their duties, they are governed by the objectives and principles of the
Constitution, the interest of the people and the country and their conscience.
(5) The first session of the National Assembly shall be held within one month
after a general election and its term shall be five years from the date of such
first session. Where there exists a state of emergency which would prevent a
normal general election from being held, the National Assembly may, by
resolution supported by not less than two-thirds vote of all its members, extend
the life of the National Assembly for a period not exceeding six months.
(6) The qualifications and election of the members of the National Assembly and
the conditions for vacating their seats shall be determined by law.
Article 32 Powers and Duties of the National Assembly
(1) Pursuant to the provisions of this Constitution: a) The National Assembly
shall have the power to enact laws
and pass resolutions for the peace, stability, development and good governance
of Eritrea; b) Unless, pursuant to the provisions of this Constitution or authorized
by law enacted by the National Assembly, no person or organization shall have the power to make having the force of law.
(2) The National Assembly shall be bound by the objectives and principles of the
Constitution, and shall strive to realize the objectives stated therein.
(3) The National Assembly shall approve the national budget
and enact tax law.
(4) The National Assembly shall ratify international agreements by law.
(5) The National Assembly shall authorize government to borrow money pursuant to
(6) The National Assembly shall approve a state of peace, war or national
(7) The National Assembly shall have the power to oversee the execution of laws.
(8) The National Assembly shall have the power to elect, from among its members,
by absolute majority vote of all its members, the President who shall serve for
(9) Pursuant to the provisions of Sub-Article 6(a) and (b) of Article 41
hereof, the National Assembly, by a vote of two-thirds majority of all its
members, shall have the power to impeach and charge the President before the end
of his term of office.
(10) The National Assembly may approve the appointment of any person or persons
pursuant to this Constitution.
(11) The National Assembly may pass such resolutions and undertake such measures
as are necessary and establish such standing or ad hoc committees as it deems
appropriate for discharging its constitutional responsibilities.
Article 33 Approval of Draft Legislation
Any draft law approved by the National Assembly shall be transmitted to the
President who, within thirty days, shall sign and have it published in the
Gazette of Eritrean Laws.
Article 34 Chairman of the National Assembly
(1) In its first meeting, the National Assembly shall elect, by an absolute
majority vote of all its members, a Chairman for five years.
(2) The Chairman of the National Assembly shall convene session of the National
Assembly and preside at its meetings, and shall, during the recess, coordinate
and supervise the operations of standing and ad hoc committees of the National
(3) The Chairman of the National Assembly may be replaced by an absolute
majority vote of all the members of the National Assembly.
Article 35 Oath
Every member of the National Assembly shall take the following oath: "I,
..., swear in the name of the Eritrean martyrs that I will be faithful and
worthy of the trust the Eritrean people placed on me; that I will uphold and
defend the Constitution of Eritrea; and that I will endeavor to the best of my
ability and conscience for the unity and development of my country without
seeking or being enticed by private gain."
Article 36 Rules of Procedure in the National Assembly
(1) The National Assembly shall have regular session and shall determine the
timing and duration of its regular session.
(2) At the request of the President, its Chairman or one-third of all its
members, the National Assembly shall have emergency meeting.
(3) The quorum of the National Assembly shall be fifty percent of all the
members of the National Assembly.
(4) Except as otherwise prescribed by this Constitution or other laws, any
question proposed for decision of the National Assembly shall be determined by a
majority vote of those present and voting, and in case of a tie of votes, the
Chairman may exercise a casting vote.
(5) The National Assembly shall issue rules and regulations concerning its organization, tasks, operations and internal processes and those of the standing
and ad hoc committees, including the rules governing the code of ethics of its
members and transparency of its operations.
Article 37 Office and Committees of the National Assembly
(1) The National Assembly shall have a secretariat under the direction of its
Chairman and committees for various fields of interest, as circumstance may
(2) The various committees established pursuant to the provisions of Sub-Article
1 of this Article shall have the power to call any person to appear before them
to give evidence or to submit documents.
Article 38 Duties, Immunities and Privileges of Members of the National Assembly
(1) All members of the National Assembly shall maintain the high image of the
National Assembly. They shall regard themselves as humble servants of the people
and maintain close contact with them.
(2) No member of the National Assembly or of its committees may be arrested or
charged for any crimes he commits during the session of the National Assembly,
unless he be apprehended in flagrant delicto. Nevertheless, where the National
Assembly, by a majority vote of those present and voting, revokes his immunity,
the member may be charged.
(3) No member of the National Assembly may be arrested or charged for words
uttered or written statements submitted by him at any meeting of the National
Assembly or any meeting of its committees or any utterance or statement made
outside the National Assembly in connection with his duty as member thereof.
(4) The duties, responsibilities, immunities and compensation of the members of
the National Assembly shall be determined by law; and all members shall be
entitled to the protection of such immunities and shall perform the duties
Chapter V The Executive
Article 39 The President: Head of State and Government
(1) The President of Eritrea is Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief
of the Armed Forces of Eritrea.
(2) The executive authority is vested in the President, and shall be exercised,
in consultation with the Cabinet, pursuant to the provisions of this
(3) The President shall ensure the respect of the Constitution; the integrity of
the State; the efficiency and effectiveness of the public service; the interests
and safety of all citizens, including the enjoyment of their fundamental rights
and freedoms recognized under this Constitution.
Article 40 Qualifications to be a Candidate to the Office
of the President
Any member of the National Assembly to be elected President of Eritrea shall be
a citizen of Eritrea by birth.
Article 41 Election and Term of Office of the President
(1) The President shall be elected from amongst the members of the National
Assembly by a vote of the majority of its members. A candidate for the office of
the President must be nominated by at least 20 percent vote of all the members
of the National Assembly.
(2) The term of office of the President shall be five years, equal to the term
of office of the National Assembly that elects him.
(3) No person shall be elected to hold office of the President for more than two
(4) When the office of the President becomes vacant due to death or resignation
of the incumbent or due to the reasons enumerated in Sub-Article 6 of this
Article, the Chairman of the National Assembly shall assume the office of the
President. The Chairman shall serve as acting President for not more than thirty
days, during which time, the National Assembly shall elect another President to
serve the remaining term of his predecessor.
(5) The term of office of the person elected to serve as President under
Sub-Article 4 of this Article shall not be considered as a full term for
purposes of Sub-Article 3 of this Article.
(6) The President may be removed from office by two-thirds majority vote of all
members of the National Assembly for the
a) violation of the Constitution or grave violation of the law;
b) conducting himself in a manner which brings the authority or honor of the
office of President into ridicule, contempt and disrepute;
c) being incapable of performing the functions of his office by reason of
physical or mental incapacity.
(7) The procedures for the election and removal of the President from office
shall be determined by law.
Article 42 Powers and Duties of the President
The President shall have the following powers and duties:
1. once every year, deliver a speech in the National Assembly on the state of
the country and the policies of his government; 2. subject to the provisions of
Article 27 hereof, declare state of emergency, and when the defense of the country
requires, state of war; 3. summon the National Assembly to an emergency meeting and present his views to it;
4. sign and publish in the Gazette of Eritrean Laws draft laws approved by the
5. ensure the execution of laws and resolutions of the National Assembly;
6. negotiate and sign international agreements and delegate such power;
7. appoint with the approval of the National Assembly, ministers, commissioners,
the Auditor-General, head of the National Bank, the Chief Justice of the Supreme
Court and any other person or persons who are required by any other provisions
of this Constitution or other laws to be appointed by the President;
8. appoint justices of the Supreme Court upon proposal of the Judicial Service
Commission and approval of the National Assembly;
9. appoint judges of the lower courts upon proposal of the Judicial Service
10. appoint and receive ambassadors and diplomatic representatives;
11. appoint high ranking members of the Armed and the Security Forces;
12. pardon, grant amnesty or reprieve offenders;
13. establish and dissolve such government ministries and departments necessary
or expedient for the good governance of Eritrea, in consultation with the Public
14. preside over meetings of the Cabinet and coordinate its activities;
15. present legislative proposals to the National Assembly;
16. confer medals or other honors on citizens, residents and friends of Eritrea
in consultation with relevant persons and institutions;
17. pursuant to the provisions of this Constitution, remove any person appointed by him.
Article 43 Immunity from Civil and Criminal Proceedings
Any person holding the office of the President may not be sued in any civil
proceedings or charged for a crime, save where such proceedings concern an act
done in his official capacity as President or proceedings involving Sub-Article
6(a) and (b) of Article 41 hereof.
Article 44 Privileges to be Given to Former Presidents
Provisions shall be made by law for the privileges that shall be granted to
Article 45 Oath
Upon his election, the President shall take the following oath: "I, ...,
swear in the name of the Eritrean martyrs that I will uphold and defend the
Constitution of Eritrea and that I will strive with the best of my ability and
conscience to serve the people of Eritrea."
Article 46 The Cabinet
(1) There shall be a ministerial Cabinet, which shall be presided by the President.
(2) The President may select ministers from among members of the National
Assembly or from among persons who are not members of the National Assembly.
(3) The Cabinet shall assist the President in:
a) directing, supervising and coordinating the affairs of government;
b) conducting study on and preparing the annual budget;
c) conducting study and preparing draft laws to be presented to the National
d) conducting study on and preparing policies and plans of government.
(4) The President may issue rules and regulations for the organization,
functions and operation of his office, the Cabinet or other government
institutions, and for the code of ethics involving officials of the executive
branch of government.
Article 47 Ministerial Accountability
(1) All ministers shall be accountable:
a) individually to the President for the administration of their own ministries;
b) collectively to the National Assembly, through the President, for the
administration of the work of the Cabinet.
(2) The National Assembly or its committees may, through the Office of the
President, summon any minister to appear before them to question him concerning
the policies or operation of his ministry.
Chapter VI The Administration of Justice
Article 48 The Judiciary
(1) The judicial power shall be vested in a Supreme Court and in such other
lower courts as shall be established by law and shall be exercised in the name of
the people pursuant to this Constitution and laws issued there under.
(2) In exercising their judicial power, courts shall be free from direction,
control and supervision of any person or authority. Judges shall be subject only
to the law, to a judicial code of ethics determined by law and to their
(3) A person exercising judicial power shall not be liable to any suit for any
act or omission in the course of exercising that judicial power.
(4) All organs of the State shall accord to the courts such assistance as they
may require to protect their independence and dignity so that they may exercise
their judicial power appropriately and effectively pursuant to the provisions of
this Constitution and laws issued there under.
Article 49 The Supreme Court
(1) The Supreme Court shall be the court of last resort; and shall be presided by the Chief Justice.
(2) The Supreme Court shall have the power of:
a) sole jurisdiction of interpreting this Constitution and the constitutionality
of any law enacted or any measure undertaken by government; b) sole jurisdiction
of hearing and adjudicating upon charges against a President who has been
impeached by the National Assembly pursuant to the provisions of Sub-Article 6
(a) and (b) of Article 41 hereof; and c) hearing and
adjudicating cases appealed from lower courts pursuant to law.
(3) the organization and operation of the Supreme Court shall be determined by law.
(4) The tenure of justices of the Supreme Court shall be determined by law.
Article 50 Lower Courts
The organization, jurisdiction and the procedures of lower courts and the tenure
of their judges shall be determined by law.
Article 51 Oath
Every judge shall take the following oath: "I, ..., swear in the name of
the Eritrean martyrs that I will adjudicate in accordance with the provisions of
the Constitution and laws enacted there under and I will exercise the judicial
authority vested in me, subject only to the law and my conscience, without
seeking or being enticed by any private gain."
Article 52 Removal of Judges from Office
(1) A judge may be removed from office before the expiry of his tenure of office
by the President only, acting on the recommendation of the Judicial Service
Commission, pursuant to the provisions of Sub-Article 2 of this Article for
physical or mental incapacity, violation of the law or judicial code of ethics.
(2) The Judicial Service Commission shall investigate whether or not a judge
should be removed from office on grounds of those enumerated in Sub-Article 1 of
this Article. In case the Judicial Service Commission decides that a judge
should be removed from office, it shall present its recommendation to the
(3) The President may, on the recommendation of the Judicial Service Commission,
suspend from office a judge who is under investigation.
Article 53 The Judicial Service Commission
(1) There shall be established a Judicial Service Commission, which shall be
responsible for submitting recommendations for the recruitment of judges and the
terms and conditions of their services.
(2) The powers, organization and duties of the Judicial Service Commission shall
be determined by law.
Chapter VII Miscellaneous Provisions
Article 54 Auditor General
(1) There shall be an Auditor General who audits the revenues and expenditures
and other financial operations of government and who reports annually his
findings to the National Assembly.
(2) The Auditor General shall be appointed for five years by the President with
the approval of the National Assembly. He shall be accountable to the National
(3) The detailed powers, duties and organization of the Auditor General shall be
determined by law.
Article 55 National Bank
(1) There shall be a National Bank, which performs the functions of a central
bank, controls the financial institutions and manages the national currency.
(2) The National Bank shall have a Governor appointed by the President with the
approval of the National Assembly. There shall be a Board of Directors presided
by the Governor and whose members shall be appointed by the President.
(3) The detailed powers, duties and organization of the National Bank shall be
determined by law.
Article 56 Public Service Administration
(1) There shall be established a Public Service Administration, which shall be
responsible for recruitment and selection of civil servants as well as for
determining the terms and conditions of their employment including their rights
(2) The detailed powers, duties and organization of the Public Service
Administration shall be determined by law.
Article 57 Electoral Commission
(1) There shall be established an Electoral Commission, operating independently
, without interference, which shall, on the basis of the electoral law, ensure
that free and fair elections are held and manage their implementation; decide on
issues raised in the course of the electoral process; and formulate and
implement civic educational programs relating to elections and other
(2) An Electoral Commissioner shall be appointed by the President with the
approval of the National Assembly.
(3) The detailed powers, duties and organization of the Electoral Commission
shall be determined by law.
Article 58 Amendment of the Constitution
(1) A proposal for the amendment of any provision of this Constitution may be
initiated and tabled by the President or 50 percent of all the members of the
(2) Any provision of this Constitution may be amended as follows:
a) where the National Assembly by a three-quarters majority vote of all its
members proposes an amendment with reference to a specific Article of the
Constitution tabled to be amended; and
b) where, one year after it has proposed such an amendment, the National
Assembly, after deliberation, approves again the same amendment by four-fifths
majority vote of all its members.