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Tinubu Advocates for Direct Election into ECOWAS Parliament

Tinubu Advocates for Direct Election into ECOWAS Parliament

President Bola Tinubu of Nigeria, on Thursday, expressed his support for a proposal to have direct elections for members of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) parliament. This would give citizens of member states the ability to directly vote for their representatives in the regional parliament.

Tinubu new photo

“As a one-time legislator myself, I look forward to reviewing the proposal regarding this matter. We stand to support the direct elections into ECOWAS parliament,” Tinubu stated while swearing in 97 members into the 6th ECOWAS parliament at the Abuja International Conference Centre.

Currently, the ECOWAS parliament is composed of existing lawmakers from the 15 member states, rather than being directly elected by citizens. Tinubu argued that the practice of directly electing public officers aligns with democratic principles upheld by Nigeria and the spirit of the ECOWAS protocol on democracy and good governance.

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Tinubu Advocates for Direct Election into ECOWAS Parliament

“We believe this will ensure that citizens will have a direct say in their representation and the legitimacy and credibility it will provide,” the President said, endorsing the idea of direct elections.

Tinubu assured the new ECOWAS parliamentarians that Nigeria, as the host nation of the community, “will continue to support you to achieve your objectives.”

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The ECOWAS parliament, also known as the Community Parliament, was established under the ECOWAS Revised Treaty of 1993. It has 115 seats, with each member state guaranteed a minimum of five seats, while the remaining 40 are shared based on population.

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However, only 97 members from various member states were sworn in on Thursday, as Mali, Niger, and Burkina Faso, which had expressed intentions to exit the bloc, had no representatives in the new parliament.

Tinubu appealed to the three countries to reconsider their stance, citing potential far-reaching consequences for their citizens and the region if they were to exit ECOWAS.

 

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