Clarification by Chairman of Meeting
For the Election of Top EDA Leadership
Based on the congress resolution for using the mechanism of consensus in deciding political issues, chairmen and representatives of chairmen of 13 Eritrean organizations met [up to the early hours of 9 May 2008] to elect chairman of the Executive Office and chairman of the legislative council of the Eritrean Democratic Alliance (EDA). When the election process was started, the ELF chairman, Hussein Khalifa requested to take the floor and was permitted to talk. Hussein stated that his organization was not forwarinding a candidate of its own for the two posts in question but he underlined that his organization was not ready to accept the candidature of ELF-RC for the Executive Office. Long discussion followed with the aim of persuading Hussein to change his mind. Likewise, many proposals were tabled as compromise solutions to the impasse. One of the compromise proposals was that the ELF, which held the executive office in the past years, can still be given the chairmanship of the legistlative body and thus avoid vetoing the ELF-RC candidature for the post of of the executive body.
When all efforts made to persuade the ELF leaadear [Hussein Khalifa] to withdraw his veto against the ELF-RC candidate failed, I, in my capacity as chair of the meeting, asked Woldeyesus Ammar, the ELF-RC chairman, to withdraw his candidate for the said post. However, Woldeyesus argued that his organization committed no crime to be barred from asking EDA leadership post and refused to withdraw his candidate. Nevertheless, springing from the interest of preserving unity of the alliance and with the concern of avoiding another fragmentation in the alliance, the ELF-RC chairman said his candidate has the legitimate right of retain candidature to the post although the ELF-RC would not at the end veto any other candidate who receives the approval of the rest of the 12 organizations. In this manner, he offered an immence contribution for a way out [of the impasse].
The discussion took quite a long time although it continued in a serene and outcome-oriented atmosphere. As such, it resumed receiving a new list of candidates for consideration [by the 12 organizations]. The new candidates for the EDA Executive Office were the following.
1. Sheikh Khalil Mohammed Amir [chairman of the Islamic Party for Justice and Developmen];
2. Tewelde Ghebreselasse [chairman of the Eritrean Peoples Democratic Front - Sagem];
3. Adhanom Ghebremariam [chairman of the Eritrean People’s Movement];
4. Abdalla Mahmoud [head of information in the Eritrean National Salvation Front];
5. Beshir Isaak [chairman of the Eritrean Federal Democratic Movement];
6. Nur Idris [chairman of the Eritrean Nahda Party];
Except Tewelde Ghebreselasse, all the candidates withdraw their candidature one after the other, and this manner, Tewelde Ghebreselasse was elected as the new chairman of the EDA Executive Office.
Later on, Abdalla Mahmoud and Ali Suleiman [of the Eritrean Congress Party/Islah] were listed as candidates for the post of chairman of the EDA legislative council. Abdalla Mahmoud received the approval of all organizations and was elected as the new chairman of the EDA legislative council.
The decision of the ELF-RC to accept the election of any consensual candidate has saved the day and helped to avoid a crisis in the election of a new Executive Chairman. Therefore, I say we must register commendation for the ELF-RC.
Mohammed Nur Ahmed,
Chairman of the meeting of 13 organizations for the election of chairmen for the Executive and Legistlative bodies of the EDA.
9 May 2008