Direct election of ECOWAS MPs to give Parliament legitimacy

By: Adoba Echono

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The outgoing Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament Dr Sidie Mohammed Tunis, has says that for the Community Parliament to have real legitimacy and relevance, its Members would have to be directly elected; a departure from its current state, otherwise it would be an opinion giving legislature.

Dr Tunis noted that, the incoming administration of the ECOWAS Parliament should continue from where the fifth legislature stopped with regards to direct elections of MPs.

In an interview, Dr Tunis in Freetown Sierra Leone, noted that what goes on in the Community Parliament now frustrates MPs because they believe they are coming with brilliant ideas resolutions which are not implemented.

Again, if the direct election is not achieved, they would not have the legitimacy to do things on their own.” Example, if we are getting our resources from the Community levy, at the beginning of the year the money would be lodged into our account; how we spend it, who would want to support it would be on our own evolution.”

But at the moment that is not the case, so that cooperation and collaboration should be there between the parliament and the ECOWAS commission, he added.

The Speaker said, the Fifth Legislature under his watch has done extremely well in sensitising the citizens on the advantages of a Direct Suffrage into the Community Parliament as against the current selection system.

According to him, election by direct universal suffrage will confer stronger democratic legitimacy on the ECOWAS Parliament as well as further strengthen its representative function.

He also used the occasion to call on the incoming leadership of Sixth Parliament to move the struggle for universal suffrage to the next level.

 

Hauwa M.