The Speaker of the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS Parliament Dr. Sidie Mohamed Tunis solicited for the support at the ongoing Parliament’s 2021 Ordinary Session in Abuja, Nigeria.
Dr. Tunis noted that the direct election into the community Parliament would enable the parliament to function more effectively and independently.
He said, “We brainstormed on the possibility of attaining this democratic reform and setting the parliament up as a truly democratic body.
“This quest is not only a democratic quest; it’s a requirement that must be fulfilled to establish sustainable democracy in the region.
“I am, therefore, humbly pleased to make use of this glorious opportunity, to call on President Mahammadu Buhari to please consider granting this advocacy your fullest support.
“We are convinced that with your support, we are on our way to a safe landing.
Dr. Tunis said that during the parliament’s Extraordinary Session in Winneba, Ghana, he had also requested the President of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo to champion the same cause.
He said that the parliament also requested Mohamadou Issoufou, former President of the Republic of Niger to serve as Chief Advocate, while Dr Mohamed Ibn Chambas, former President of the ECOWAS Commission should serve as Assistant Chief Advocate.
“Haven been assured of their concurrence, we set out to address the following key areas: The modalities for the conduct and financing of the election of Members to the ECOWAS Parliament.
“The electoral Code for the election; as well as the proposal for the code of conduct for candidates in the election.
“Two weeks ago, I headed a delegation of the ECOWAS Parliament for a study visit to the Republic of Niger,” he explained.
The Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament, Dr. Sidie Mohamed Tunis, identified, the election of MPs by direct universal suffrage as a flagship political program of his mandate during the inauguration of the 5th legislature.
Under Article 18 of the Additional Act of December 2016 on the Strengthening of the Prerogatives of Parliament, the 115 members of the Community Assembly are elected by direct universal suffrage by the citizens of the Member States.
While waiting for this system to take effect, the National Assemblies of the Member States or the institutions or equivalent bodies elect the Parliamentarians of the Community Parliament from within them at the moment.