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ECOWAS election observers urged to be neutral

25 July 2013, 14:15Augustine Osayande

Abuja - Members of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Election Observation Mission to Togo’s Parliamentary elections have been urged to be neutral in order to ensure credible poll results.

The elections are scheduled for Thursday.

Addressing the 80 observers ahead of their deployment to the country’s five regions, Vice President of the ECOWAS Commission, Toga McIntosh, urged the observers  to be good ambassadors of the region by adhering to their mandate.

“As observers your role is to observe and feed your observations into the Mission’s report in line with the regional texts governing elections in the region,” he said in the Togolese capital, Lome.

Head of the ECOWAS Observation Mission to Togo, Leopold Ouédraogo, assured that the observers would conduct themselves professionally.

“We are observers and not monitors and our duty is to observe in a neutral manner that respects the image of ECOWAS,” he added.

He said they aimed to support Togo and the region to deepen democracy and good governance.

Ouédraogo urged the observers to avoid any conduct or statement that would impact negatively on the reputation of the organization.

"They must also respect the sensibilities of the electorate and the political actors," he added.

Another ECOWAS mission is heading for Mali for the country’s crucial elections scheduled for Sunday.

Acting Director of ECOWAS Early Warning Directorate, Florence Iheme, pointed out the need for the regional observers to demonstrate their independence, cognisant of the fact that elections or their outcomes have become a major source of conflict in the region.

- CAJ News


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