ABUJA: THE Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has deployed observers to monitor the general election Burkina Faso will hold on Sunday. Former President of the transition in Guinea-Bissau, Manuel Serifo Nhamadjo, will lead the teams of observers, consisting of 13 long-term and 120 short-term monitors. The short-term observers will come from all ECOWAS Member States, excluding Burkina Faso, the Community Court of Justice, the ECOWAS Council of the Wise and the ECOWAS Parliament.
The team will also include representatives of national electoral commissions in the region as well as experts trained at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre in Accra, Ghana. According to information gathered from Abuja, the ECOWAS Headquarters, the long-term observers will include experts in security matters, gender issues, electoral operations, constitutional law and communication.
“The observers will be deployed throughout the country to observe and monitor all operations before, during and after the elections and present a report on the electoral process. The observation will particularly involve regularity, transparency, fairness and proper conduct of presidential elections,” ECOWAS added.
The regional body appealed to all candidates, political party leaders and their militants and supporters to ensure the elections were held in an atmosphere of peace and tranquility and a spirit of national cohesion. Fourteen candidates are running for the presidential elections previously postponed in the wake of a failed coup in September.