The Election Observation Mission (EOM) of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) led by Kabiné Komara, former Prime Minister of Guinea and Head of the Mission to Burkina Faso, met with the main stakeholders involved in the organization of the 22 November 2020 presidential and legislative elections in Ouagadougou on 19 and 20 November, and subsequently with the 80 observers deployed by ECOWAS.
The Head of the ECOWAS Mission, Mr. Komara kicked off the meetings with members of the Burkinabe civil society and representatives of candidates on Thursday 19 November 2020. On Friday 20 November 2020, Mr. Komara, Head of the ECOWAS Mission together with the other Heads of Election Observation Missions from other institutions present in Ouagadougou including the Conseil de l’Entente, the African Union, the International Organisation of La Francophonie and CEN-SAD meet Ahmed Newton Barry, Chairman of the National Independent Electoral Commission (CENI) of Burkina Faso, and Mathias Tankoano, Chairman of the High Council for Communication (CSC), to get acquainted with the ongoing electoral process.
During the different meetings, the Head of the ECOWAS Mission, Mr. Komara and Mr. Bernard Makuza, former Prime Minister of Rwanda and Head of the African Union Election Observation Mission, commended Burkina Faso for the putting in place of a consensual framework in the run-up to the 22 November 2020 elections. These include a consensus on the composition of CENI and the signing of the “code of good conduct” by presidential and parliamentary candidates, civil society stakeholders and media representatives in order to ensure free access of candidates to the state media and the use of responsible and decent language during the electoral campaign. At each of the meetings, the Head of the ECOWAS Election Observation Mission (EOM) clearly stressed that: “ECOWAS commends the efforts and measures taken by Burkina Faso to hold free, consensual, democratic and peaceful elections”.
Speaking to the ECOWAS observers whom he met in the afternoon of 20 November 2020, in the presence of General Francis Behanzin, ECOWAS Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security, and Tiéna Coulibaly, ECOWAS Resident Representative to Burkina Faso, Mr. Komara urged them to carry out their mission in accordance with international standards, in conformity with Burkina Faso’s laws and making use of the tools and documentation made available to them during their training.
“…..Your mission is in the interest of the people of Burkina Faso and is intended to ensure fair and transparent elections so that the results of the polls are accepted by the citizens and political parties”, noted the Head of the ECOWAS Election Observation Mission.
The ECOWAS Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security, for his part, expressed his satisfaction with the calibre of people who are part of the Election Observation Mission. He called on them to be objective and impartial in their duties and in the preparation of their activity reports. “…Together let us support Burkina Faso in the consolidation of its young, vibrant and enviable democracy” concluded General Françis Behanzin.