Isaias Afwerki, EPLF, PFDJ, Democratic Movement, main political parties
Following the liberation of Eritrea from Ethiopia in 1991, the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front (EPLF) took over control of administration but agreed to hold a referendum on independence. The electorate approved independence in April 1993, and a four-year transitional period was declared to prepare a constitution. A May 1993 decree set up a formal transitional government under EPLF control. This provided for a National Assembly, a president, and council of ministers. Isaias Afwerki, secretary general of the EPLF, was formally elected president by the National Assembly in June 1993.
A new constitution was approved in 1997. Under this constitution, the National Assembly is the country’s legislature. Its members are popularly elected to five-year terms. A president, elected by the National Assembly to a five-year term, renewable once, serves as the head of state. The Supreme Court is the highest judicial body; its judges are appointed by the president.
Eritrea is divided into six regions for administrative purposes. These regions are under the control of administrators appointed by the president. The main political parties in Eritrea are the former EPLF (renamed the People’s Front for Democracy and Justice, or PFDJ) in 1994, the Democratic Movement for the Liberation of Eritrea, and the Eritrean Liberation Front (ELF).
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