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New chair of regional electoral management body receives ECOWAS delegation
Prof Mahmood Yakubu, INEC Chair and new ECONEC Board President

Abuja, 13 April 2017. Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, the newly-elected President of the Board of ECOWAS Network of Electoral Commissions (ECONEC) and Chairman of Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has pledged that the network will work with ECOWAS and development partners to push for democracy through elections with integrity across the region during his two-year tenure.

Prof Yakubu was elected the chair of the five-member board at ECONEC’s 5th Biennial General Assembly meeting held in Cotonou, Benin Republic last month, along, his counterpart from Benin as 1st Vice President, Guinea-Bissau as 2nd Vice President, while Burkina Faso was elected Treasurer and Cabo Verde as deputy Treasurer.

Addressing the media while receiving a delegation of ECOWAS Commission and ECONEC Secretariat officials at INEC Abuja Headquarters on Wednesday 12, April 2017, he explained that the hosting of the ECOWAS Commission and the regional network of electoral Commissions by Nigeria would “make for a vibrant ECOWAS and ECONEC.”

“There can be no ECONEC without ECOWAS,” he said, adding the new board would work for a “robust ECONEC.”

Prof. Yakubu, who used the opportunity to introduce other INEC Commissioners to the visiting delegation, said the new position imposes additional responsibility on INEC to work harder and collaborate with other Electoral Management Bodies (EMBs) to deliver credible elections in the region.

He said ECONEC provides a forum for peer review, cooperation and experience sharing on best practices among EMBs in the region for improved management and delivery of credible elections for the entrenchment of democracy in West Africa.

The ECOWAS Commissioner of Political Affairs, Peace and Security, Mrs Halima Ahmed, who led the ECOWAS/ECONEC delegation, congratulated Prof. Yakubu on his well-deserved election, expressing the hope that ECONEC’s success and visibility during his tenure would rub off on the ECOWAS Commission.

She pledged the Commission’s readiness for continued support to the ECONEC Secretariat to deliver on its mandate.

After the opening ceremony, both sides went into a working session during which ECONEC’s two-year plan and implementation strategies were discussed and finalised.

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