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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Re-examining local governance in Eritrea: the redrawing of administration regions
Author:Bereketeab, RedieISNI
Year:2012
Periodical:African and Asian Studies (ISSN 1569-2094)
Volume:11
Issue:1-2
Pages:1-29
Language:English
Geographic term:Eritrea
Subjects:central-local government relations
local government
decentralization
administrative divisions
legislative power
executive power
Link:http://booksandjournals.brillonline.com/content/journals/10.1163/156921012x629312
Abstract:The postindependence government of Eritrea introduced Proclamation 86/1996 to redraw the administrative structure of the newly independent territory. The principle behind the redrawing was to serve a decentralized governance system where considerable power would be devolved to the regions. According to this principle the regions were provided with legislative, executive and judiciary bodies of local governance. The regions were also to be divided into subregions and village/area units and provided with legislative, executive and judiciary organs that would enhance the local governing system in which the local communities are given, both legally and practically, the autonomy to run their political, economic, social and cultural life with less central interference. In practice, however, the governance system that was introduced following independence proved to be highly centralized. This became glaringly obvious following the outbreak of the second war (1998-2000) between Eritrea and Ethiopia. The paper critically re-examines local governance in Eritrea. It examines the various stages of the redrawing of the regions from the creation of the Italian colony of Eritrea in 1890 until the introduction of new administrative structures following independence in 1991. It examines the corresponding power structures and local governance systems. It also examines the modality of the redrawing and the political intentionality behind it. Through text interpretation and analysis the paper examines the connection between local governance and decentralization. The paper draws the conclusion that the legal mechanism put in place and the discretionary power arrangement between the executive and legislative bodies could not provide ample space for local governance. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]
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