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Eritrea Government Profile 2017

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Country nameconventional long form: State of Eritrea
conventional short form: Eritrea
local long form: Hagere Ertra
local short form: Ertra
former: Eritrea Autonomous Region in Ethiopia
etymology: the country name derives from the ancient Greek appellation "Erythra Thalassa" meaning Red Sea, which is the major water body bordering the country
Government typepresidential republic
Capitalname: Asmara (Asmera)
geographic coordinates: 15 20 N, 38 56 E
time difference: UTC+3 (8 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions6 regions (zobatat, singular - zoba); Anseba, Debub (South), Debubawi K'eyih Bahri (Southern Red Sea), Gash Barka, Ma'akel (Central), Semenawi Keyih Bahri (Northern Red Sea)
Independence24 May 1993 (from Ethiopia)
National holidayIndependence Day, 24 May (1991)
Constitutionadopted 23 May 1997 (not fully implemented); note - drafting of a new constitution, which began in 2014, continued into 2016 (2016)
Legal systemmixed legal system of civil, customary, and Islamic religious law
International law organization participationhas not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
Citizenshipcitizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Eritrea
dual citizenship recognized: no
residency requirement for naturalization: 20 years
Suffrage18 years of age; universal
Executive branchchief of state: President ISAIAS Afworki (since 8 June 1993); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government and is head of the State Council and National Assembly
head of government: President ISAIAS Afworki (since 8 June 1993)
cabinet: State Council appointed by the president
elections/appointments: president indirectly elected by the National Assembly for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); the only election was held on 8 June 1993, following independence from Ethiopia (next election postponed indefinitely)
election results: ISAIAS Afworki elected president by the transitional National Assembly; percent of National Assembly vote - ISAIAS Afworki (PFDJ) 95%, other 5%
Legislative branchdescription: unicameral National Assembly or Hagerawi Baito (150 seats; 75 members indirectly elected by the ruling party and 75 directly elected by simple majority vote; members serve 5-year terms)
elections: in May 1997, following the adoption of the new constitution, 75 members of the PFDJ Central Committee (the old Central Committee of the EPLF), 60 members of the 527-member Constituent Assembly, which had been established in 1997 to discuss and ratify the new constitution, and 15 representatives of Eritreans living abroad were formed into a Transitional National Assembly to serve as the country's legislative body until countrywide elections to form a National Assembly were held; although only 75 of 150 members of the Transitional National Assembly were elected, the constitution stipulates that once past the transition stage, all members of the National Assembly will be elected by secret ballot of all eligible voters; National Assembly elections scheduled for December 2001 were postponed indefinitely due to the war with Ethiopia
Judicial branchhighest court(s): High Court (consists of 20 judges and organized into civil, commercial, criminal, labor, administrative, and customary sections)
judge selection and term of office: High Court judges appointed by the president
subordinate courts: regional/zonal courts; community courts; special courts; sharia courts (for issues dealing with Muslim marriage, inheritance, and family); military courts
Political parties and leadersPeople's Front for Democracy and Justice or PFDJ [ISAIAS Afworki] (the only party recognized by the government)
note: a National Assembly committee drafted a law on political parties in January 2001, but the full National Assembly never debated or voted on it
Political pressure groups and leadersDemocratic Movement for the Liberation of Eritrean Kunama or DMLEK
Eritrean Democratic Alliance or EDA
Eritrean Islamic Party for Justice and Development or EIPJD (includes the Eritrean Islamic Jihad (EIJ), Eritrean Islamic Jihad Movement (EIJM), Eritrean Islamic Salvation, and the Eritrean Islamic Foundation)
Eritrean National Congress for Democratic Change or ENCDC
Eritrean National Salvation Front or ENSF
Eritrean People's Democratic Party or EPDP
Red Sea Afar Democratic Organization or RSADO
International organization participationACP, AfDB, AU, COMESA, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (NGOs), IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS (observer), ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, ISO (correspondent), ITU, ITUC (NGOs), LAS (observer), MIGA, NAM, OPCW, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO
Diplomatic representation in the USchief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires BERHANE Gebrehiwet Solomon (since 15 March 2011)
chancery: 1708 New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20009
telephone: [1] (202) 319-1991
FAX: [1] (202) 319-1304
Diplomatic representation from the USchief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Natalie E. BROWN (since September 2016)
embassy: 179 Ala Street, Asmara
mailing address: P.O. Box 211, Asmara
telephone: [291] (1) 120004
FAX: [291] (1) 127584
Flag descriptionred isosceles triangle (based on the hoist side) dividing the flag into two right triangles; the upper triangle is green, the lower one is blue; a gold wreath encircling a gold olive branch is centered on the hoist side of the red triangle; green stands for the country's agriculture economy, red signifies the blood shed in the fight for freedom, and blue symbolizes the bounty of the sea; the wreath-olive branch symbol is similar to that on the first flag of Eritrea from 1952; the shape of the red triangle broadly mimics the shape of the country
note: one of several flags where a prominent component of the design reflects the shape of the country; other such flags are those of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, and Vanuatu
National symbol(s)camel; national colors: green, red, blue
National anthemname: "Ertra, Ertra, Ertra" (Eritrea, Eritrea, Eritrea)
lyrics/music: SOLOMON Tsehaye Beraki/Isaac Abraham MEHAREZGI and ARON Tekle Tesfatsion
note: adopted 1993; upon independence from Ethiopia

Source: CIA World Factbook
This page was last updated on July 9, 2017

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