ABUJA: FORMER Ghanaian President John Kufuor is scheduled to lead the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) strong Election Observation Mission (EOM) for next month’s general election in Nigeria.
The team, which is due in Nigeria from February 10 and will be preceded by a 12-member Long-Term Election Observation Mission (LTEOM), whose members will be deployed from January 22 to February 8, will consist of 250 members.
The deployment of observation missions by the ECOWAS Commission is consistent with the provisions of the regional Supplementary Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance and within the framework of the ECOWAS Electoral Assistance Programme for Member States.
“While the short-term mission will concentrate on the regular observation of the electoral process, before, during and the post-election period, the Long-Term Election Observation Mission (LTEOM) will serve as a rapid response mechanism for emergencies and contribute to the prevention and management of election related conflicts.
“The members will provide credible real-time analysis and substantial recommendations and also help to create an atmosphere of public trust and encourage citizen participation,” the regional body said.
It added that the LTEOM team will comprise an election specialist, who will be responsible for liaison with electoral authority and assessing the work of the Electoral Management Body (EMB) in relation to regional principles governing democratic elections; a political legal specialist with a deep knowledge of the constitutional and legal framework governing the elections, and media specialists who will be responsible for coordinating relations between the press and the mission.
It will include a conflict prevention specialist, who will analyze information related to electoral conflict and also assess measures taken by the Government to encourage the full participation of youth and women in the electoral process and ensure gender parity in representation during electoral process.
ECOWAS said there would also be an operation expert, in charge of operational matters, including security and safety of the mission, and a Mission Coordinator, who will serve as the focal point between the field-based long-term observers and the short-term observation mission for logistical matters as well as collection and collation of reports.
SOURCE: CAJ NEWS AGENCY