ECOWAS Electoral Group Evaluates Challenges to October Elections

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Rep. Smith between two members of ECONEC

Representatives of the ECOWAS Network of Electoral Commissions (ECONEC) are visiting the country to review challenges to the upcoming October presidential and legislative elections.

The electoral group is also in the country to play the role of an observer and monitor of events concerning the elections.

The House chairman on Elections and Inauguration, Rep. Gabriel B. Smith, informed journalists about the objectives of the group yesterday on Capitol Hill after a closed-door meeting with the 8-man ECONEC delegation.

The ECONEC delegation includes Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, chairman of ECONEC and chairman of the Independent Nigeria Elections Commission (INEC); Mr. Newton Ahmeh Barry, chairman of CENI Burkina Faso; and Dr. Maria do Rosario Goncalves, chairperson of CNE Cape Verde.

Other members of the delegation are Mr. Francis Gabriel Oke, permanent secretary of ECONEC; Prof. Antonia Simbine, INEC Commissioner; Prof. Bolade Eyinla, chief technical adviser to INEC chairman; Mr. Paul Ejime, ECONET communications and advocacy officer; and Mr. Chinedu Chinedu, ECONEC program manager.

During the consultative meeting, the committee told ECONEC that the major challenge to the election is  funding, in the amount of US$20 million, said Rep. Smith.

He further reported that the committee was able to explain about the rising concerns from ECONEC about the Code of Conduct (CoC) and other related election issues.

The Grand Bassa County lawmaker said the ECONEC delegation visits every West African country during elections to review the country’s challenges and reassure of its role in observing and monitoring.

The delegation has reportedly met officials of the National Elections Commission, senior government officials, including the Speaker, and will meet the Chief Justice today.

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