NEC Chair Joins Counterparts from Nigeria, Burkina Faso on Peer Support Mission to Benin

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L-R: Mr. Emmanuel Tando, NEC Chair/host, Beniin, Madam Davidetta Browne Lansanah (Liberia NEC Chairperson), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu (Chairman, INEC, Nigeria) and Mr. Ahmed Newton Barry, chairman, INEC of Burkina Faso assembled in Cotonou to peer-support each other.

Davidetta Browne Lansanah, chairperson of the National Elections Commission (NEC) of Liberia has joined her Nigerian and Burkina Faso counhterparts in a peer support and learning mission on elections matters in the sub-region.

NEC’s communication’s department has disclosed through a press statement that Madam Lansanah has gone to Benin to witness and learn from that country’s own style of democracy relative to elections matters.

Benin’s President Patrice Talon is contesting for his second five-year term against a lone competitor, Alassane Soumanou, who is contesting on the ticket of Forces Cauris pour un Benin Emergent (FCBE). All the Parliamentarians from President Talon’s camp are said to have contested unopposed due to a massive boycott by the opposition for what they termed as “unfair electoral process.”

Yesterday’s Presidential election is the eleventh (11th) since the emergence of democracy in that West African Country.

The Daily Observer is informed that all of the eighty-three (83) Parliamentarian seats were contested by only supporters to President Talon, a former businessman turned politician in Benin.

Madam Davidetta Browne Lansanah is expected to spend one week in Benin and watch closely how the electoral system of Benin works and how the people react to developments arising from the process.

Professor Mahmood Yakubu, Chairman of the Independent National Elections Commission (INEC) of Nigeria, and Mr. Ahmed Newton Barry of the Independent National Elections Commission (INEC) of Burkina Faso, as well as Madam Lansanah, are in Cotonou, capital of Benin to support and learn from their counterpart, Mr. Emmanuel Tiando, Chairman of National Elections in Benin.

“The three Chairpersons are in Cotonou, Benin, at the invitation of ECOWAS Network of Electoral Commissions, (ECONEC) and since their arrival in Benin on the 7th of April, they have been supporting the work of the Electoral Commission of Benin in identifying best practices and sharing experiences in the administration of elections,’ Prince Dunbar, NEC acting communications director said.

Dunbar added: “The week-long ECONEC mission to Benin will end on 14th April 2021. Key to the success of the Peer-Learning and achievement of the long term goals of ECONEC is that there would be improvement in the quality of the management of elections in ECOWAS member states.”

He said the deployment of elections management bodies from Liberia, Nigeria and Burkina Faso to Benin by ECONEC is funded by the German Agency for International Cooperation (GTZ).

Unlike Benin, Liberia has more than twenty registered political parties and several independent candidates each time there is or are elections in the country.

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