ECOWAS Parliament raises special committee on direct election of members
London, March 15, 2020 (AltAfrica)-The composition of ECOWAS parliament is edging closer to historic changes after it established a special ad-hoc Committee to make proposals on Direct Election of Members into the Parliament.
Currently the 115 members are seconded from national parliament of member states- the first direct election is been proposed for 2021.
The newly elected Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament, Sidie Mohammed Tunis, announced this at the closing ceremony of the inaugural session of the Fifth Legislature of the Community Parliament in Niamey, Niger Republic.
Tunis expressed his commitment to ensuring that this is achieved and admonished members of the ad-hoc Committee to carry out their assignment with dedication.
“I expect that a report, with necessary recommendations, would be presented for adoption and transmission to the Community decision makers.” Tunis said.
“This is a project that I hold dearly, and wish to urge members of the ad-hoc Committee to approach the job with all the seriousness it deserves.”
The fifteen member Committee is Chaired by the first deputy Speaker, Ahmed ldriss Wase, who is also Nigeria’s Deputy Speaker, while other members are drawn from each country that constitute the regional Parliament.
The ad-hoc Committee is expected to make recommendations that would be presented for adoption by the Authority of Heads of State and Government.
Presently, Members of ECOWAS Parliament are nominated by their national Parliaments, which falls short of what is applicable to many other regional Parliaments of the world, like the European Parliament.
The speaker equally called on other members, who were nominated into the fourteen standing committees to accept their nomination and work assiduously for the development of the region.
Tunis also appealed to all the parliamentarians in the Community Parliament in the Fifth Legislature to be committed in working towards improving the lives of people in the region.
“As we begin a new Legislature, let us redouble our efforts towards pushing for an agenda that would impact positively on the lives and wellbeing of our people,” Tunis added.
“We must remain focus in providing the much needed representation that our people so desperately need.“
“We must appreciate our special position in history, as having the honour and privilege of contributing our quota in the advancement of the West African Integration.“
“Not many fellow West Africans would be so honoured as all of us gathered here today. We must also know that history would judge our performance in the long run,” Tunis said.
Tunis also announced his intention to revive the Association of Presiding Officers of West African Parliament to promote a good working relationship between the regional, and national parliaments of member states.