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Support from President Tinubu for direct elections into ECOWAS parliament



President Bola Tinubu of Nigeria has announced his backing for the proposal advocating direct elections of members to the parliament of the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS. Tinubu made this pledge on Thursday, emphasizing that such a step would empower citizens of member states to have a voice in selecting their representatives.

In a ceremony held at the Abuja International Conference Centre to swear in 97 members of the 6th ECOWAS parliament, Tinubu, drawing from his experience as a former legislator, expressed his keenness to assess the proposed change. “We are in full support of implementing direct elections into the ECOWAS parliament,” he stated.

His remarks were significant against the background of the ECOWAS parliament currently being populated by sitting lawmakers from the 15 member nations.

Tinubu affirmed, “The act of directly electing public officials is in harmony with the democratic values that Nigeria firmly stands by. This step is consistent with the ECOWAS protocol on democracy and good governance.”

He added, “We are confident that this approach will enable citizens to have a direct role in the selection of their representatives, enhancing both the legitimacy and credibility of the process.”

Assuring the members of the sixth ECOWAS Parliament that Nigeria, as the host nation, will continue its support, Tinubu highlighted the importance of this move.

According to NewsNow, the ECOWAS parliament, also recognized as the Community parliament, was established in accordance with Articles 6 and 13 of the ECOWAS Revised Treaty of 1993.

The original protocol creating the parliament was signed on August 6, 1994, in Abuja, outlining the structure, composition, mandate, and related aspects of the parliament.

The parliament consists of 115 seats, with each member state guaranteed a minimum of five seats, while the remaining 40 seats are distributed based on population sizes.

However, despite the allocation of 115 seats, only 97 members, representing lawmakers from different member states, were sworn in on Thursday.