The Chairman of the Governance Commission, Prof. Amos C. Sawyer, is leading the Economic Community of West African States’ (ECOWAS) observers’ mission to the legislative and presidential elections in Guinea Bissau.
Prof. Sawyer left Liberia on April 8 by invitation of the President of ECOWAS, Kadré Désiré Ouedraogo, to lead a group of 220 observers from around West Africa.
The former Prime Minister of the Republic of Guinea, H.E. Kabine Komara, is the Deputy Chief of Mission supporting Prof. Sawyer on the Mission to monitor the election process.
Ahead of the mission, Dr. Sawyer and key officials of ECOWAS, including Ghanaian President John Mahama and ECOWAS president Ouedraogo, met with 220 observers and thanked them for accepting the call to serve their fellow West Africans in a time of need.
Ghanaian President John Mahama expressed gratitude to Prof. Sawyer and Mr. Komara for accepting ECOWAS’ invitation to oversee such a delicate process.
As part of the mission, Prof. Sawyer, his deputy Chief of Mission, and officials of ECOWAS, met with the Interim President of Guinea Bissau, Manuel Serifo Nhamadjo, political and military leaders, government officials, the president of Guinea Bissau’s National Elections Commission, and members of its Supreme Court in separate meetings to inform them of ECOWAS’ role in the electoral process. During the meetings, Prof. Sawyer expressed ECOWAS’ solidarity and support for the transition to democracy and good governance in Guinea Bissau.
In a special meeting with political parties and presidential candidates on the eve of the elections, Prof. Sawyer admonished the parties to work for peace and be prepared to accept the outcomes of the elections, which would be a reflection of the will of the people.
He informed the political leaders that ECOWAS is committed to ensuring that the elections are credible and that the transition to democracy in the country moves on smoothly.
He cautioned the political leaders that only the people of Guinea Bissau could restore democracy and development to their country, and that ECOWAS and other international organizations can only facilitate their own national efforts in the process of such.
On the day of the elections April 13, 2014, Prof. Sawyer and the President of ECOWAS jointly observed voting and counting in several polling stations in the city of Bissau.
On Monday 14 April 2014, Prof. Sawyer is expected to deliver to the people of Bissau and the international community the preliminary findings of the 220 ECOWAS observers deployed throughout the country.
Prof. Sawyer has played similar roles over the years, leading electoral observation missions for the African Union, ECOWAS and the National Democratic Institutes in Mali, Sierra Leone, Ghana, and Nigeria, among others.