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ECONEC wants structured engagement in Guinea

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In continuation of its electoral mid-term follow-up Mission to Guinea, the Prof Mahmood Yakubu-led ECONEC delegation met on Monday 11 June with the ECOWAS Special Representative in the country, Ambassador Liliane Alapini, and representatives of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and development partners.

At the talks with the interlocutors including representatives of the EU, USAID, US, German and Japanese embassies, the American National Democratic Institute (NDI), Guinea’s Independent Electoral Commission, CENI, and three CSOs, Cellule Balai Citoyen, PCUD and CNOSCG, Prof Yakubu, ECONEC governing board President and Chair of Nigeria’s Independent Electoral Commission (INEC), called for sustained political dialogue, effective communication and structured engagements between CENI and Guinea’s other political stakeholders including the development partners.

Ambassador Alapini commended ECONEC for working hand in hand with the ECOWAS Commission towards deepening democracy in the region by supporting credible and peaceful polls.

On the agenda of the consultations were issues from the disputed results of Guinea’s last February’s municipal elections and areas of further support by ECOWAS, ECONEC, and the development partners.

Also discussed was the implementation of recommendations of ECOWAS Observation Mission (EOM) to Guinea’s 2015 presidential poll and those in the October 2016 Political Accord, including the restructuring of CENI and other legal and political reforms ahead of the country’s 2019 parliamentary vote and the 2020 presidential election.

Prof Yakubu said that structured engagements would enable the articulation of needs, political inclusivity and focused support for the entrenchment of best practices in the electoral process that will contribute to sustained credible elections and consolidation of democracy in the country.

The development partners and CSO representatives had harped on the need for the implementation of the recommendations of the ECOWAS EOM’s in the aftermath of the 2015 presidential vote and those contained in the 2016 Political Accord signed by the ruling and opposition parties with ECOWAS, UN, EU, Francophonie organisation, and the US and French envoys as observers.

Some of the recommendations include reform of CENI to make it more technical and professional, as well as legal and political reforms for a level playing field and socio-political climate.

Prof. Yakubu pledged that the Mission will reflect in its report to the relevant authorities, areas of support to address the identified needs and strengthen the capacity of CENI Guinea in line with ECONEC’s mandate to empower its members to deliver credible and peaceful elections and contribute to the consolidation of democracy in the ECOWAS region.

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