Nigeria: ECOWAS partners UN, others to improve election observation mechanism

Abuja, Nigeria (PANA) - The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is collaborating with the United Nations (UN) and the League of Arab States (LAS) in the utilisation of Needs Assessment Missions and latest Information Technology (IT) tools to strengthen the integrity of election observation for the deepening of democratic practice.

Within this context, representatives of the UN, LAS, the African Union (AU), ECOWAS and partner organizations, including the Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa (EISA), participated in a two-day workshop,which ended in Cairo, Egypt on 8th March 2017, according to a statement issued by ECOWAS on Thursday.

It said ECOWAS was represented by Mr. Francis Oke, Head of its Electoral Assistance Division (EAD), whose presentation centred on the strides recorded by ECOWAS in poll observation through the deployment of Short- and Long-Term Election Observation Missions to member States.

On the use of IT, he explained that ECOWAS Long-term observers piloted the use of digital tablet device for their reporting system during Ghana’s December 2016 presidential election with a measure of success. The Electoral Commission in Cabo Verde also used IT, especially in its data collection, which facilitated the election process during that country’s October 2016 presidential poll, Mr.Oke said.

Following his presentation, the LAS delegation, expressed the willingness of the League to cooperate with ECOWAS in setting up an Election Management Bodies (EMB) Network, and the exchange of experiences and information between the two institutions.

The participants underscored the importance of Needs Assessment Mission Reports to the improvement of electoral processes, adding that the Reports must be shared with all relevant stakeholders including governments, electoral management bodies and civil society organisations.

The participants also expressed concern about the introduction of technology to elections and election observation, stressing that necessary safeguards must be put in place to take into account the local conditions, including the culture of the people, to ensure that IT introduction did not become a source of conflict in an electoral process.

The workshop was organised by the UN Department of Political Affairs/Electoral Assistance Division, the UNDP and LAS in line with the electoral cooperation and partnership between the UN and ECOWAS.
-0- PANA MA 9March2017

09 mars 2017 11:19:14




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