Liberia: ECOWAS Commits to Instilling Trust, and Confidence in Liberia’s Electoral System
MONROVIA – Dr. Sidie Mohammed Tunis, Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament, has pledged the commitment of the ECOWAS Parliament to work with the ECOWAS Commission in ensuring that Liberia’s 2023 Presidential and Legislative Elections are free, fair and transparent.
He made the statement in Abuja at the formal opening of the second ordinary session of the ECOWAS Parliament for the year 2022.
By Henry Karmo
Dr. Tunis stated that as the region prepares for elections in Liberia, the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Republic of Sierra Leone in 2023, ECOWAS will work to instill trust and confidence in the electoral systems of those nations.
“ECOWAS Parliament pledges its full support to work with the ECOWAS Commission, partners and stakeholders to instill trust and confidence in the electoral systems. We express optimism that nothing will obstruct free, fair, transparent, and democratic elections in these Member States,” the regional parliamentary body’s Speaker said.
Speaker Tunis also said that in fulfillment of their commitment, and as a demonstration of the Parliament’s commitment to ensuring peaceful elections, the Parliament conducted oversight missions to the National Centers for the Coordination of the Early Warning and Response Mechanism in the Early Warning Offices in Nigeria, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.
“The engagements were very enlightening and fruitful, and the reports from those missions would be carefully considered later during this Session.”
The ongoing session in Abuja, which is otherwise known as the “Budget Session”, mandates the Parliament, in accordance with its Supplementary Act, to consider the Consolidated Community Budget.
“Consequently, we have been tasked to ensure that the Budget is directed towards programs that address the needs, aspirations and interests of the people we represent. In discharging this all-important assignment, let us bear in mind the challenges we face from urgent and looming crises in our Community. We must summon the will, courage and commitment to act in ways that will impact positively on our region.
“Permit me to state that as a region, we are confronted with unending chaos and crises, which are threatening the gains we have made in the recent past. Most prominent and most recent is the COVID-19 pandemic, with its impact on our economies. This has remained a cause for concern. The pandemic occasioned a slowdown in the pace of growth of our economies, many of which are still struggling to recover from the setbacks brought upon them.
“Furthermore, on the global front, we are confronted with the war between Russia and Ukraine, which has had far-reaching consequences on the welfare of our people. We are fully aware of the economic consequences of this war, as well as the attempt by our various governments to cushion the effects. The global economy is, arguably, facing one of the worst challenges in living memory.”
Dr. Tunis also said that Africa has boundless potentials, and also has resources that are limitless, opportunities are endless, but yet have economies that remain vulnerable and fragile.
According to him, consequently, Members states of ECOWAS are presently experiencing hyperinflation, especially in relation to prices of commonly used necessities, like food, energy, and transportation, which has far-reaching implications on other goods and services.
“As a politician and a servant of the people, I am compelled to always ask, how do our people feed? How do our people pay up their daily bills? How do they address health challenges within their immediate and extended families? How do they provide for the education of their children?”