Posted by: APO | 16 November 2008

Guinea Bissau / ECOWAS observers in Guinea Bissau for legislative elections


Guinea Bissau / ECOWAS observers in Guinea Bissau for legislative elections

BISSAU, Guinea Bissau, November 16, 2008/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Forty-five ECOWAS observers, led by a member of the organization’s Council of the Wise, Mr. Leopold Ouedrago of Burkina Faso, have arrived Guinea Bissau to observe the country’s legislative elections scheduled for tomorrow, Sunday 16th November 2008.

Members of the delegation include representatives of the 15 Member States, civil electoral experts and representatives of ECOWAS Ambassadors.

The observers have been deployed to the eight regions of the country. They are being supported by a nine-member coordinating team from the ECOWAS Commission who will remain in Guinea Bissau until after the conclusion of the elections.

The officials who include members of the ECOWAS Electoral Assistance Unit are led by the organization’s Adviser on Democracy and Good Governance, Professor Ade Adefuye.

Since their arrival in Guinea Bissau, the observers have met with the leaders of political parties, the Chairperson of the National Electoral Commission, El Hadj Mane, and high-level officials of the United Nations Office in Guinea Bissau (UNOGBIS) led by the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General, Ambassador Shola Omoregie.

The elections in Guinea Bissau are important not only for deepening democracy in the country but also for consolidating the gains made in the region in the areas of peace, stability and good governance.

The observers are expected to make a set of recommendations that will strengthen the electoral process in such a way as to increase the confidence of the people of Guinea Bissau in democratic principles and practice.

The observer mission is in the country in fulfillment of the ECOWAS mandate to assist Member States in organizing and observing elections. It is being carried out in compliance with the provisions of the ECOWAS Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance of 2001, which is supplementary to the Protocol relating to the Mechanism for Conflict prevention, Management, Resolution, Peacekeeping and Security.

Through the Office of the Special Representative of the President of the ECOWAS Commission in Guinea Bissau, ECOWAS has been observing all aspects of the election including issues such as voter registration, preparation and distribution of ballot papers, secrecy of the voter exercise as well as the process of compilation and release of the results.

According to the organization’s Adviser on Democracy and Good Governance, Professor Adefuye, the legislative elections are “very important since a firm foundation for democracy has been declared as a prerequisite for international support to re-organize the economy of the country and lift it out of poverty”.

“The hope is that the country will, after the elections, enjoy a period of relative peace and stability that will provide an enabling environment for sustainable development”, Professor Adefuye added.

SOURCE : Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS)


%d bloggers like this: