ECOWAS Parliament appoints Akufo-Addo one of eminent persons to oversee direct election of its MPs

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The ECOWAS Parliament has appointed President Akufo-Addo as one of the the eminent persons to oversee the direct election of members of its Parliament.

This follows criticisms against the current practice where members of the ECOWAS Parliament are selected by their home Parliaments to represent their countries.

Analysts believe the mode breeds corruption and favouritism among MPs.

In view of this, Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament, Dr Sidie Mohamed Tunis has appointed three persons namely, ECOWAS Chair, Mr Akufo-Addo together with the former Nigerien President Mahamadou Issoufou and the former Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa, Mohammed Ibn Chambas and tasked them with the duty of championing the processes for the election of ECOWAS MPs.

Some 200 delegates drawn from the 15 member states of the Economic Community of West African States are currently in Winneba in the Central region for the High-Level ECOWAS Parliament Interactive Summit and the 2021 Second Extraordinary Session of the sub-regional body.

The summit which is expected to last for 10 days is themed: “Evaluating Two Decades Of Democratic Elections In The ECOWAS Region: Achievements, Challenges And The Way Forward”.

In his welcome address, Dr Tunis reiterated the urgent need for member states to pay attention to the creeping phenomenon of incumbent Presidents amending constitutions before the expiration of their tenure in office.

“The truth is that this practice is eroding the gains we have made as a community, sinking the region into more chaos and creating a serious reputational risk for ECOWAS as an institution,” he said.

Accepting the proposal to be one of the three-member Champions, President Akufo-Addo expressed optimism that the move will help strengthen democracy in the sub-region.

“I want to reiterate further my earlier support for the call to elect members of the ECOWAS Parliament by universal adult suffrage. Achieving that feat will make an important milestone in the quest for strengthening democracy in the region and also enable Parliament to function with the needed autonomy, stability, and predictability.”

SourceABC News

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