ECOWAS deploys 250 observers for February elections

The Economic Community of West African States is sending a 250-strong Election Observation Mission for next  month’s general elections....

The Economic Community of West African States is sending a 250-strong Election Observation Mission for next  month’s general elections.
The ECOWAS mission, one of the largest foreign observation teams being deployed in Nigeria, will be headed by former Ghanaian President John Kufuor, who led a fact-finding mission to the country last October.

A statement from the commission on Wednesday said the deployment of observation missions is consistent with the provisions of the regional Supplementary Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance and within the framework of the ECOWAS Electoral Assistance Programme for Member-States.
“An innovation this time is that the EOM, which is due in Nigeria from February 10, 2015, will be preceded by a 12-member Long-Term Election Observation Mission, whose members will be deployed from January 22 to February 18, 2015,” the statement added.
The commission explained that the short-term mission will concentrate on the regular observation of the electoral process, before, during and the post-election period, while the LTEOM would serve as a rapid response mechanism for emergencies and contribute to the prevention and management of election-related conflicts.
The members are expected to provide credible real-time analysis and substantial recommendations and also help to create an atmosphere of public trust and encourage citizen participation.
According to the commission, the LTEOM team will comprise an Election Specialist, who would be responsible for liaison with electoral authority and assessing the work of the Electoral Management Body in relation to regional principles governing democratic elections; a Political Legal Specialist with a deep knowledge of the constitutional and legal framework governing the elections, and media specialists who will be responsible for coordinating relations between the press and the mission.
The observer team, the mission added, would include a Conflict Prevention Specialist, who will analyze information related to electoral conflict and also assess measures taken by the government to encourage the full participation of youth and women in the electoral process and ensure gender parity in representation during electoral process.
The statement reads, “There will also be an Operation Specialist, in charge of operational matters, including security and safety of the mission, and a Mission Coordinator, who will serve as the focal point between the field-based long-term observers and the short-term observation mission for logistical matters as well as collection and collation of reports.
“The mission  will have a dedicated web portal, and a Situation Room to serve as its secretariat  for daily briefing on the situation and the collection of data.”
ECOWAS stated that the long- and short-term poll observers would  be deployed in the six geo-political zones, with the exception of the North-East zone because of the security situation there.



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CANTELLA: ECOWAS deploys 250 observers for February elections
ECOWAS deploys 250 observers for February elections
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