Guinea’s electoral commission seeks support for hitch free polls
A delegation of the ECOWAS Network of Electoral Commissions (ECONEC) has begun talks with the leadership of Guinea’s Electoral Commission (GEC), with a view to strengthening the capacity of its electoral body towards the conduct of hitch free elections.
Other issues in the engagement include the implementation of recommendations of ECOWAS’ observation mission to Guinea’s 2015 general elections.Led by ECONEC governing board President and Chair of Nigeria’s Independent Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, the team is in Guinea on a post-election follow-up Mission (PEFM), as part of assessment and early warning strategy instituted by ECOWAS to track and address risk factors that could negatively impact the credibility and peaceful conduct of elections in member states.
Although the country is billed to hold its national parliamentary poll in January 2019, to be followed by a crucial presidential election in 2020, there are unresolved issues from last February’s municipal elections, which results are being contested.
At two separate meetings with GEC, involving the commission’s chair, Mr. Amadou Salif Kebe, Vice President Bakary Mansare, and commissioners in charge of operations and training, the officials commended ECOWAS and ECONEC for their contributions to the consolidation of democracy through support for credible elections in the region.They also praised the excellent bilateral relations between Nigeria and Guinea and the sustained support for GEC by INEC.
In his remarks, Yakubu explained that ECONEC and INEC were building bridges for peer-learning and mutually beneficial cooperation among election management bodies, to consolidate best practices in the conduct of credible and peaceful elections in the sub-region.While stressing that all 15 ECOWAS member states are now democracies, Yakubu said: “We should ensure that elections do not lead to conflicts by using the instrumentality of ECONEC to ensure peaceful elections, instead of having to deploy ECOMOG (the regional peacekeeping force), because of disputed elections.”
Some of the EOM’s recommendations include, the need for legal and political reforms to strengthen the technical and professional capacity of CENI to make it more transparent and truly independent, and the strengthening of dialogue among political actors to ensure peaceful socio-political climate.
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