GUINEAN AUTHORITES COMMIT TO RESOLVING ISSUES OVER DISPUTED MUNICIPAL POLL RESULTS

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The Secretary General in Guinea’s Territorial Administration and Decentralization Ministry, Dr. Yamori Conde has assured visiting ECONEC delegation led by Prof Mahmood Yakubu that the Ministry is working with other stakeholders under the Technical Follow-up Committee to resolve issues related to the disputed results of the country’s municipal elections held last February 4.

The disputes involving results of 12 constituencies, which are before the court, have stalled local administration in Guinea’s 342 Administrative Districts.

Receiving Prof Yakubu’s eighth-member delegation in Conakry, on Wednesday 13 June, on behalf of the Minister, Dr Conde, said the issue would be resolved to ensure the inauguration of elected candidates in 330 constituencies, while the court addressed the cases of the disputed 12, according to law.

The Ministry plays a major role in Guinea’s electoral process, including the registration of political parties, coordination of civil society organisations and general administration at national and local levels. The country has parliamentary polls in 2019 and a crucial presidential vote in 2020.

The inconclusive municipal elections and other issues related to the recommendations of the ECOWAS observation mission to Guinea’s 2015presidential election, have featured in consultations between Guinea’s politicalstakeholders and Prof Yabubu’s delegation, including Prof Emmanuel Tiando, ECONEC 1stVice President and Chair of Benin Republic electoral Commission, on a Post-election Follow-up Mission (PEFM) to Guinea.

Prof Yakubu urged the stakeholders including Guinea’s Electoral Commission, CENI, Civil society organisations, ruling and opposition political parties represented at the National Assembly, and development partners, to work towards effective implementation of the recommendations.

They include cleaning up the Vote Register, reform of CENI to make it more technical and professional, reform of the legal framework, to address issues related to the use of Envelops for ballot papers and transmission of election results.

The ECONEC president explained that the implementation of these recommendations would ensure a political level playing field to enable CENI deliver credible elections for the deepening of democratic culture in the country.

He explained that the achievement of these goals will impact positively on the quest for credible elections and consolidation of democracy in the ECOWAS regions.

Prof Mahmood promised that ECONEC would support capacity strengthening of CENI and also advocate to external partners for necessary support in line with ECONEC’s mandate of assisting its members to live up to theirresponsibilities.

Also on the Guinea Mission, supported by the German International Development Agency, GIZ, Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa (EISA), and INEC, are senior INEC and ECONEC Secretariat officials, and an EISA representative.

The Mission will submit a report, which will serve as basis for planning and adjusting ECOWAS Electoral Assistance Division’s future electoral support to the specific needs of Member States.

Under Prof. Yakubu’s leadership from March 2017, ECONEC has among other activities, undertaken Needs Assessment and Solidarity Missions to Liberia, Cote d’Ivoire and Sierra Leone. It has also carried out a study on the cost of elections and co-organised an International Conference in Abuja on the challenges and opportunities in the use of technology in elections.

Its advocacy has also resulted in the provision of technical and logistical support to Liberia and Sierra Leone during their recent national elections.