The statutory Second Ordinary Session of the Parliament of the Economic Community of West
African States (ECOWAS) which normally sits in line with the ECOWAS calendar, to consider
and give Parliamentary Opinion on the Community Budget proposal adopted by the
Administration and Finance Commission (AFC) of ECOWAS, which was initially slated to hold, in-
person, at Abuja, the seat of Parliament will now hold virtually.
The Community Parliament in a statement said that the Bureau of Parliament has approved the session to hold via video-
the conference, from Wednesday, 13 to Tuesday, 19 January 2021, following the reality of the 2nd wave of the
SARS-COV-2 pandemic.
The statement also said that the budget session will examine the draft 2021 Consolidated Budget of the Community.
“Additionally, it will consider the draft Strategic Plan of the Fifth Legislature as well as 2021
parliamentary Work / Activity Plan of the institution.
“As provided in the Supplementary Act of December 2016, on the Enhancement of the Powers of
the ECOWAS Parliament, the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Mr. Jean Kassi Brou will
present to the Plenary, an up-to-date report on the level of implementation of the Community Work
Program whereas the President of the ECOWAS Court of Justice, Hon. Justice Edward Amoako
Asante will deliver a goodwill address to the Plenary.
“Aware of the role of an elected parliament in facilitating the participation of the people in their
governance, the Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament, Rt. Hon. Sidie Mohamed Tunis, at the
occasion of the inauguration of the current legislature in Niamey, March 2020, identified the
election of Members by direct universal suffrage as the flagship political program of this
legislature’s mandate.
“Consequently, the Report of the ad-hoc Committee set up to propose mechanisms to facilitate the
effective election of representatives by direct universal suffrage, will also be considered by the
Plenary in the course of this week-long session.
“Article 18 of the Supplementary Act on the Enhancement of the Powers of the ECOWAS
Parliament provides that the 115 Members of the Community Assembly are (to be) elected by
direct universal suffrage by the citizens of the Member States,” the statement further disclosed.
The Community Parliament concluded that while the ECOWAS is still on
transition toward attaining this provision, currently, the National Assemblies or equivalent bodies
of Member States elect the ECOWAS Members of Parliament from within their members.

 


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