23 April 2013

ECOWAS Election Observer Mission Gets Automated

press release

Abuja - Nigeria — The Electoral Assistance Division of the ECOWAS Commission on 17th April, 2013 in Abuja, presented a database that will house the records of all professionals in the region in the areas of Election monitoring and evaluation.

The data base was developed with the assistance of GIZ, the German Agency for Technical Cooperation and will help harmonize the record process making the selection process more transparent, impartial and geographically balanced while eliminating human intervention.

In implementing the implementation of its mandate, the division has over the years assisted Member States in strengthening their capacities in Election monitoring and evaluation for the efficient management of electoral process to enable them conform with best practices. The division uses Election Observation Missions (EOM) as a mechanism for ensuring that Member States conducting elections do so under the principles enshrined in the 2001 ECOWAS Supplementary Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance and the 2008 ECOWAS Conflict Prevention Framework (ECPF).

In the spirit of these instruments, the Commission has established relevant initiatives to assist Member States technically and financially in the preparation of credible and transparent elections. Electoral Assistance to Members States is therefore a vital part of the ECOWAS approach to the promotion of Democracy, good governance, Human Right protection and the Rule of Law since elections are an essential component of a functioning democracy which foster peace and development in the region.

Professionals within the ECOWAS region are required to apply and register online into the data base which will serve as a record and roster for future EOMs. It is believed that with professional Observers, the EOMs will become more credible and acceptable by all stakeholders. This data base will have a record of potential, new and old observers and it has been developed taking cognizant of the region's burgeoning population.

Election Observers are selected based on individual profile, taking into account international and national electoral observation experience and linguistic ability. Generally ECOWAS EOMs are deployed for Presidential elections within the Member States, but some legislative and local elections have been monitored by the EOM. However, the observation of these elections is reserved for cases of specific political reasons on decision from the ECOWAS President.

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