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; Realising 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 and consideration;
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 Eritrea.
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 recognised 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 authorised 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 political order.
(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 people.
(2) This Constitution enunciates the principles on which the State is to be based and guided by and determines the organisation 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 orgnisations 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 organisations 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 colours with golden olive leaves located at the centre. 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 DIRECTIVEPRINCIPLES
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 Òunity in diversity.
(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 the country.
(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 organisation 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 endeavour 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.