EDA Elects Its Executive, Legislative Leadership    
By Gedab News - Mar 05, 2005   

The Eritrean Democratic Alliance, an umbrella group of Eritrean opposition groups, has named its first Chairmen to the Central Leadership as well the Executive Office. The central leadership, the equivalent of the legislative arm, is composed of the sixteen organizations that make up the umbrella group.  Depending on size, the member organizations have either one or two votes and the total number of votes for the central leadership is 27.   Mr. Berhane Yemane �Hanjema� has been elected the Chair of this body, with Abubaker (no last name given) as its Secretary.


The Central Leadership has also elected its nine-member executive body.   They are, in alphabetical order, as follows:


Mr. Adhanom Gebermariam, Eritrean People�s Movement (EPM);

Mr. Ahmed Nasser, Eritrean Liberation Front-National Congress (ELF-NC);

Mr. Hamed Turki, (correction: Islamic Party for Justice & Development - EIPJD)

Mr. Hussein Khalifa, Eritrean Liberation Front (ELF)

Mr. Ibrahim Haroun, Red Sea Afar Democratic Organization (RSADO)

Mr. Mengestab Asmerom, Eritrean Liberation Front-Revolutionary Council (ELF-RC)

Mr. Mohammed Nur Ahmed, Eritrean Democratic Party (EDP)

Mr. Qernelios Osman, Democratic Movement for the Liberation of Eritrean Kunama People (DMLEK)

Mr. Taher Shengeb, Popular Congress


Mr. Hussein Khalifa, who had been elected as the provisional chairman of the preparatory committee that lay the groundwork for the formation of the EDA, has been named the Chairman of the new executive body.   Gedab News has been informed that EDA�s charter gives him authority to assign the eight elected officials to various offices of the executive body, including vice chair, secretary, information, and organizational affairs.


The following is a brief background of the individuals elected to the executive office:


Adhanom GebremariamIs currently the vice-chairman of the Eritrean People�s Movement as well as the Chairman of the Eritrean National Salvation Front, a united front of five Eritrean opposition groups. Adhanom is one of the �G-15,��a group of 15 parliamentarians who challenged the authority of President Isaias Afwerki.


Ahmed Nasser: is currently the foreign office director of the ELF-NC.  He is a long-time member of the ELF and, later, the ELF-RC�s legislative and executive offices.  Ahmed Nasser was the last chairman of the ELF before its removal from the Eritrean field and eventual fragmentation.


Hamed Turki: is currently an executive with the (Correction: Islamic Party for Justice and Development (EIPJD), one of Eritrea�s Islamist organizations.  EIPJD was formerly known as the Islamic Salvation Movement, and is currently headed by Khalil Mohammed Amer.


Hussein Khalifa: is currently the vice chairman of the Eritrean Liberation Front.  ELF is chaired by Abdella Idris, who has been suffering from bad health since 2003.  In his absence,  Hussein Khalifa, Hassen Assad and Dr. Yohannes Zeremariam, ELF�s Foreign Office Director, have emerged as spokespersons for the organization.


Ibrahim Haroun is the leader of the Red Sea Afar Democratic Organization, which joined the Eritrean National Alliance in 2002.   Ibrahim�s name and that of his organization were not widely known until July 2004, at the signing ceremony of the declaration of intent of five opposition groups, later known as Four Plus One.  His absence fueled speculation, later addressed in a Gedab News report.     


Mengesteab Asmerom is a long-time member of the Eritrean Liberation Front-Revolutionary Council (ELF-RC) legislative and executive arms, currently serving as the organization�s chief of Cultural and Information Center.


Mohammed Nur Ahmed: is a member of the Eritrean Democratic Party�s Secretariat.  Most recently Eritrea�s Ambassador to China, he is a long-time member of the Eritrean Liberation Front who returned to Eritrea after independence and was subsequently made a member of the national assembly.


Qernelios Osman is the leader of the Democratic Movement for the Liberation of Eritrean Kunama People (DMLEK.)  The movement was a founding member of the Eritrean National Alliance and advocates the rights of the Eritrean Kunama, an ethnic group residing in the fertile Gash-Setit area (Western Eritrea).


Taher Shengeb is the leader of the Popular Congress, perhaps the largest Islamist organization in Eritrea. 


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