ECOWAS VP tasks Togo poll observers on neutrality

Lome, Togo (PANA) - ECOWAS Commission Vice President Toga McIntosh has urged members of the ECOWAS Election Observation Mission to Togo’s 25 July Parliamentary elections to perform their duty with utmost neutrality.

Dr. McIntosh told the 80 observers - ahead of their deployment from the capital city of Lomé to the country’s five regions - to be good ambassadors of the Community and to adhere strictly to their mandate.

“As observers your role is to observer and feed your observations into the Mission’s report in line with the regional texts governing elections in the region,” the Commission Vice President said in his address here Tuesday.

In his remarks, Head of the ECOWAS Observation Mission to Togo, Ambassador Leopold Ouédraogo, explained that the decision to dispatch an observer mission to Togo for the parliamentary election - against the regional bloc's policy of sending observers for Presidential elections in member states - underscored the importance which the organisation attached to the electoral process in the country.

He said the aim was to support Togo during a trying period as part of efforts to deepen democracy and good governance in the region.”

“We are observers and not monitors and our duty is to observe in a neutral manner that respects the image of ECOWAS,” Ambassador Ouédraogo said, urging the observers to avoid any conduct or statement that will impact negatively on the reputation of the organisation.

The observers also received security briefing by ECOWAS officials and the national security task force on the parliamentary elections, in addition to addresses by representatives of Togo’s Independent National Election Commission (CENI).

The observers are being deployed to the 30 constituencies in Togo’s five regions - Maritime, Plateau, Central, Kara and Savanes - where some 3.3 million registered voters will cast ballots in 7,600 polling stations.

Some 1,174 candidates from the ruling and opposition parties are contesting for the 91 parliamentary seats in the country of six million inhabitants.

Political analysts said the Parliamentary polls are of particular importance because the outcome would impact on Togo’s 2015 presidential election.
-0- PANA SEG 24July2913

24 july 2013 11:17:12

xhtml CSS