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President Tinubu declares support for direct elections into ECOWAS parliament

Nigeria’s President Bola Tinubu says he will support a proposal for the direct election of members into the parliament of the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS.

Tinubu, who made the declaration on Thursday, said the move would give citizens of member states a say in who represents them.

While swearing in 97 members into the 6th ECOWAS parliament at the Abuja International Conference Centre, he said, “As a one-time legislator myself, I look forward to reviewing the proposal regarding this matter. We stand to support the direct elections into ECOWAS parliament.”

His comments came on the backdrop of the ECOWAS parliament being populated by existing lawmakers from the 15 member states.

The President said, “The practice of directly electing public officers aligns with democratic principles, principles that Nigeria upholds.

“This principle is also in line with the spirit of the ECOWAS protocol on democracy and good governance.

“We believe this will ensure that citizens will have a direct say in their representation and the legitimacy and credibility it will provide.”

He assured members of the sixth ECOWAS Parliament that Nigeria, as a host community, will continue to support.

The ECOWAS parliament, also known as the Community parliament was established under Articles 6 and 13 of the ECOWAS Revised Treaty of 1993.

The initial protocol establishing the parliament was signed in Abuja on August 6, 1994, providing for the structure, composition, competence, and other matters relating to the parliament.

The parliament is composed of 115 seats. Each member state has a guaranteed minimum of five seats while the remaining 40 seats are shared based on population.

However, only 97 members, comprising lawmakers from various member states, were sworn in Thursday.

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