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Regional Conference on Electoral Security Identifies Ways of Addressing Electoral Challenges in West Africa
Mrs Boko Nadjo, Mr Agoha Gen Sangare, Amat Mamadou and Lokadi Komi during the closing Panel Discussion

August 5th 2019. Participants at the just ended Regional Conference on Electoral Security in ECOWAS Member States have identified sensible ways of addressing the issues having to do with electoral challenges in the region.

The identified methods contained in the report of their 2-Day meeting in Abuja, Nigeria, included the institutionalization of electoral security in the region.

Steps to be taken by stakeholders in the area of electoral administration, dispute resolution and security were also set forth in a bid to ensure that drawbacks at both electioneering as well as during pre and post elections period are minimized in the region.
Some of the highpoints in the report containing the concrete action that needed to be taken to address the gaps observed included the legalisation of the operations of the Electoral Management Bodies (EMB)s by entrenching consensus building in their establishment, among others.

The conference also recommended unhindered access to information and participation of the representatives of the stakeholders in the execution of the electoral operations with respect to the crisis of confidence between certain political parties and the EMBs

Regarding the mobilization of youths for electoral violence, participants recommended improved trainings in order to build their capacities while it was agreed that the signing of a media code of conduct is highly desirable in order to check the phenomenon of partisanship by the media.

In the course of the meeting, participants appraised some analytical methodologies on electoral violence, security, trends as well as models. They reflected broadly and exchanged ideas on best practices in electoral security and action to be taken by all stakeholders as the region approaches yet another busy schedule of elections.

Declaring the conference closed the ECOWAS Commission’s Director of Political Affairs Dr Remi Ajibewa maintained that since electoral security is everyone’s business, there is a high need for collective efforts in promoting and consolidating peace within the ECOWAS Community.

Speaking in the same vein, the Chief of Party of the Reacting to Early Warning and Response Data in West Africa (REWARD) of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Mr. Alimou Diallo congratulated the ECOWAS Electoral Assistance Division (EAD) for the excellent work done so far and for the quality of choice of the participants judging from their contributions which went a long way in enriching the debates throughout the conference.

The EAD was created in 2006 to assist the Commission in coordinating the support, management and implementation of regional policies in electoral processes.

It works towards the strengthening of capacities of Election Management Bodies (EMBs) for efficient management of electoral processes to confirm to international best practices.

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