May 29, 2021

Leader of the delegation from Sierra Leone to the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) Parliament, Chernor  Bah has said the parliament needs elected lawmakers who can focus on Community works, rather than the current system where MPs own double allegiance and are unable to focus.

According to him MPs pay more attention to their national Parliament than the Community Parliament so there is conflict of interest, and it is something that they as lawmakers should push for. “I do not know when it would happen but the earlier it happens the better for ECOWAS and the Parliament”.

Responding to whether this will happen in the next parliament which is the sixth Parliament, he noted that it is the current Speakers flagship program, and he wish he would succeed, but there might be many challenges.

“We have the financial consideration to look at, only 115 members with a population of over three hundred million, maybe we have to increase the membership, then the financial burden. Again, beyond that, organizing elections simultaneously just for the Parliament would also be challenging”, he stated.

He further suggested that there should be another form of election that would not be too financially demanding, for a start and that would make sure there is a distinction between those going to ECOWAS Parliament and national parliament.

As to whether, the Parliament should be given more enhance powers, he noted that, that is what they have been looking for; “we have enhanced powers but if you look at the structures, even the Commission is stronger than us, the Executive Council of Ministers, we need our independence to do monitoring, supervising and oversight in ECOWAS institutions”.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/