May 25, 2021

As the fifteen member states forming the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Parliament do not have a uniform parliamentary tenure, former member of the Parliament from Ghana, Clement Kofi Humado is advocating for a special team to orient new entrants into the Parliament.

According to him he does not recollect any special orientation when he entered the Parliament, and thinks the problem is because the various member states have different entry point and date.

He further noted in an interview that, when Ghana had its Presidential and Parliamentary elections in 2016, in the following year its Parliamentary delegation moved into the Community Parliament, as well as various countries depending on their elections and the time they come to the Parliament.

“You find that anytime we have any major elections, an Ordinary Session in a year, one country or the other is making entry and because of that there has not been any orientation; what I can suggest we do is have a special standing orientation team at the Community Parliament, so that anytime a country makes an entrance they can have two or three-days orientation”.

Again, countries having orientation few days before the Ordinary Session, special document and pamphlets are prepared for orientation in all the three-official language of the ECOWAS Parliament, and given to the team, and apart from that individual delegates, “need to learn very fast if materials are available with a training coordinator”.

Mr. Humado noted that all these problems would be resolved when the Community Parliament has direct elections of its members from the fifteen different member states, pointing out that at the beginning of every Legislature, delegates from each member state would come at the same time so it becomes easier to have an orientation for all delegates.

Again, at the same time the way in which every member state comes to the parliament at any time is becoming difficult, “so the direct elections would solve that problem as well”, he said.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/