Rt. Hon Speaker of ECOWAS Parliament
November 15, 2021

Speaker of the West African sub-regional Parliament, Rt Hon. Dr Sidie Mohamed Tunis is leading a delegation of the ECOWAS Parliament, comprising Members of the Ad-hoc Committee on study for Direct Elections of Members into the ECOWAS Parliament to Niamey, Republic of Niger from today Tuesday, November 16, 2021 to Saturday, November 20, 2021.

The week-long study visit is tailored with the intention to hold discussions with the Chief Advocate and Assistant Chief Advocate for the direct elections of Members into the ECOWAS Parliament, as well as provide an opportunity for the Advocates and stakeholders to brainstorm on its attainment.

 His Excellency Mohamadou Issoufou, former President of the Republic of Niger and former Chair of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of States & Government was appointed as Chief Advocate for the roadmap to direct election; and His Excellency Dr. Mohamed Ibn Chambas, former President of the ECOWAS Commission, former Secretary-General, Africa, Caribbean and the Pacific (ACP) and the former Special Representative for the Secretary General and the Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa was appointed Assistant Chief Advocate.

The week-long meeting in Niger would showcase the pivotal role of an elected parliament in facilitating the participation of the people in regional governance, amongst others, by voting and being voted for.

It could be recalled that the Speaker of ECOWAS Parliament, during the inauguration of the 5th Legislature identified the election of Members by direct universal suffrage as a key policy agenda of his tenure.

Accordingly, an Ad-hoc Committee with all 15 Parliamentary Member State delegations being represented was established to consider the prospects of electing Member by direct universal suffrage within the shortest possible time.

Consequently, an inaugural meeting of the Ad-Hoc Committee was held on 8th – 12th December 2020 in Lagos, Nigeria to look at previous work done on the direct elections of Members and as well determine the Committee’s next steps.

Amongst the Recommendations made by the Ad-hoc Committee was the consultation of key stakeholder such as the Authority of Heads of State, Council of Ministers, ECOWAS Commission and the Court of Justice.

Furthermore, during the 2nd Parliamentary Seminar from the 13th – 15th October 2021 in Winneba, Ghana, the Rt. Honorable Speaker, Sidie Mohammed Tunis, had the honor to appoint His Excellency, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, President of the Republic of Ghana and Chairman of the Authority of Heads of State & Government of ECOWAS as champion for the attainment of direct elections of Members to the ECOWAS Parliament.

Therefore, it is clear that this meeting in Niger is an opportunity for stakeholders to brainstorm on the salient aspects of holding direct election.

The expected outcome of it all is to enable authorities, stakeholders and members have improved knowledge of the Mode of election of Members to the Community Parliament.  It will also sensitize the Nigerien Authorities on the mode of election and facilitate deliberations on the strategy to have it achieved.