Don’t alter constitution to stay in power, Akufo-Addo cautions ECOWAS presidents

President Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana has cautioned incumbent Heads of State and Government in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) against holding on to power beyond constitutional provisions, a phenomenon he noted is the major cause of political instability in the sub-region.

Akufo-Addo made the call during an ECOWAS High-Level Parliamentary Seminar in Winneba, Ghana, themed, ‘Two Decades of Democratic Elections in ECOWAS Member States: Achievements, Challenges and the Way Forward’.

Akufo-Addo, who is also Chair of the Authority of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government, said the High-Level meeting of the ECOWAS Parliament came at the right time following the political situation in Mali and Guinea.

This is also as Akufo-Addo urged the ECOWAS Parliament to join the ECOWAS Commission to ensure swift review of the ECOWAS Protocol on Democracy and good governance.

“Good governance should and must imperatively exclude political manoeuvres to maintain power beyond constitutional requirements. Let us all be aware that beyond that, the marriage between the elected and the electorate becomes forced, the environment becomes toxic, the mandates becomes queried,” he said.

The Parliament of ECOWAS has also appointed Akufo-Addo to champion its drive to achieve direct election of members into the parliament.

Speaker of the Parliament, Sidie Mohammed Tunis, made the announcement during his opening address at the seminar.

Tunis said one of the cardinal objectives of the current legislature is to achieve the election of members into the ECOWAS Parliament by direct universal suffrage.

He noted that despite restrictions and difficulties associated with executing normal activities, occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Parliament was able to kick start the process last year.

MEANWHILE, the General Secretary of the Pitit Dessalines Party (PDP) in the Haiti Republic, Moise Jean Charles, has advised incumbent Prime Minister, Ariel Henry, to develop a feasible security plan that could bring normalcy to the population’s everyday life.

He said armed gangs are taking control of daily living in the country, stressing that it would be difficult for the government to regain the people’s confidence without very significant achievements in security.

He told The Guardian in Enugu, yesterday, that the Prime Minister, who was appointed in July this year after the assassination of Jovenel Moise, must draw a coherent plan to drive down the costs of living as quickly as possible to solve migration issue.

Jean Charles described himself as the presidential candidate of his party in the next election. Asked how he thinks the government should address the migration of Haitians, he said: “I don’t know what the Haitian government intends to do. The only alternative is to govern in a manner that doesn’t drive the Haitians to opt, out of despair, for such a dangerous and humiliating journey.”

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