Africa Headline News

ECOWAS Parliament appoints leaders to campaign for universal suffrage

ECOWAS Parliament has appointed three prominent personalities to campaign for the attainment of direct elections into the regional Parliament.

They include Former President Mohamaddou Issoufou of Niger, Former President of ECOWAS Commission, Dr. Ibn Chambas and President Akufo Addo of Ghana.

The Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament, Dr. Sidie Tunis made this known at the high-level parliamentary seminar on 20 years of democratic elections in West Africa held in Winneba, Ghana.

Dr. Tunis said one of the cardinal objectives of the current legislature was to achieve the election of members into the ECOWAS Parliament by direct universal suffrage.

However, he noted that despite restrictions and difficulties associated with executing normal activities, occasioned by the COVID-19 Pandemic, the Parliament was able to kick start the process last year.

“Article 18 of the Supplementary Act provides that Representatives shall be elected by direct universal suffrage by the citizens of Member States.

“It also provides a transitional period at which time the National Assemblies of the Member States or their equivalent institutions or organs, shall elect such representatives.”

He said as a result of the firm commitment of the ECOWAS Parliament to the cause, it has decided to appoint   the former President of the Republic of Niger and former Chair of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State, Mohamaddou Issoufou, as the Chief Advocate for the roadmap to direct elections of Members to the ECOWAS Parliament.

Also appointed was the former President of the ECOWAS Commission and former Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa, Dr. Inn Chambas as Assistant Chief Advocate.

President Nana Akufo-addo of Ghana and the current Chairman of the Authority of the Heads of States and Government was requested to serve as the Champion for the attainment of the campaign.

He said the request was predicated upon the firm support the Parliament has been receiving from President Nana Addo.

Dr Tunis also expressed optimism that  the advocacy from former President Issoufou Mahammadou of Niger and Dr Ibn Chambas along side with that of President Akufo Ado  as the champion, the objectives of the Parliament would be  as good as achieved.

Reporting by Idara Ukpanyang, editing by Daniel Adejo