By Foday Moriba Conteh
It was disclosed in Freetown on the 19th February 2020 that the President of the ECOWAS Commission, His Excellency Jean – Claude Kassi Brou, requested Sierra Leone’s distinguished statesman, former President Ernest Koroma, to lead the ECOWAS Observation Mission to the Presidential Election in Togo scheduled to take place on 22nd February 2020.
The invitation was extended to former President Koroma by Mr. Brou who noted that the decision for President Koroma to lead the Mission was for the Commission to benefit from his rich experience, diplomatic skills and leadership demonstrated over the years.
The invitation follows the former President’s leadership of a successful forty member African Union Election Observation Mission in Namibia.
Composition of the Mission include fifty observers drawn from among experts from Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Member States, ECOWAS Ambassadors accredited to ECOWAS and based in Abuja, Members of the ECOWAS Court of Justice, Members of the ECOWAS Parliament, representatives of the electoral commissions of Member States, civil society organizations, media and other experts from the region.
It was stated that in line with the provisions of Article 14 of the ECOWAS Supplementary Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance, the objectives of the Mission include: (a) to engage all key stakeholders to engender consensus for peaceful election and acceptance of the outcome thereof; (b) Establish co -operation links with Non – Governmental Organizations (NGO’s) and other election observer teams to build synergy and work together in the overall interest of the country.
During the Mission, President Koroma will hold consultations with the various stakeholders including Government officials, members of the electoral commission, political parties, civil societies, media, members of the diplomatic corps and other international observer groups.
President Koroma departed Freetown on the 19th February 2020 and will return on the 25th February, 2020.