Hon. Sidie Tunis, Speaker of the Economic Community of West African States(ECOWAS) Parliament, has said that the regional body was keen on ensuring a peaceful democratic process in the Republic of Cape Verde and The Gambia as both countries prepare for their Presidential elections.
Tunis is in Cape Verde, where he led an ECOWAS Parliament’s delegation on a fact-finding mission to the country.
“We are on a fact-finding mission to Praia. But, as you know, this country will be having its Presidential elections in October, and as Parliamentarians and as the Community’s Parliament, we find it necessary to come in.
According to Tunis, this would enable the ECOWAS Parliament to identify the reasonable and possible shortcomings of the electoral process to ensure the peaceful conduct of a free and fair election.
“ECOWAS Parliament is keen on ensuring peaceful democratic process in the Republic of Cape Verde and the Gambia, as both countries prepare for their Presidential elections later this year.
“Regional peace and stability are only possible when political stakeholders are constantly engaged and reminded of their constitutional roles.
In The Gambia, the ECOWAS Commission anticipates every possible scenario on the process and outcome surrounding the December 4th presidential election in The Gambia, likewise the elections in Cape Verde. Accordingly, in addition to consultative engagements with Gambian political actors, the ECOWAS Commission has trained the Inter-Party Committee (IPC), the traditional and faith-based leaders, the relevant civil society organizations, the Transitional Justice Working Group (TJWG), TANGO, the National Council for Civic Education (NNCE), the West African Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP), National Youth Council (NYC), the Local Authorities and Community leaders on how to prevent and mitigate pre- and post-election-related disputes while ensuring peaceful electoral outcomes through dialogue and mediation.
“To look at the process, engage stakeholders, civil societies, and even the Presidential candidates in a bid to ensure that there is peace and security in the entire electoral process.
“And also to ensure that the region remains peaceful and encourage the Electoral institutions to conduct a free and fair election. That is my Prayer”, Hon. Sidie Tunis, Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament, said.