#National News

WADEMOS, partners vow to strengthen democracy

Jul 8, 2024, 12:33 PM | Article By: Isatou Ceesay Bah

As the 65th Session of the ECOWAS Heads of State and Government commences on July 7, 2024, in Abuja, Nigeria, the West Africa Democracy Solidarity Network (WADEMOS), in partnership with Tournons la Page (TLP), the West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI), and other pro-democracy actors presented a position paper to the Heads of State.

The document highlights significant concerns and proposes recommendations to fortify the region's democratic structures, enhance peace and security as well as promote integration among the community's people.

Regional Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) are alarmed at the ongoing political and security crises threatening the unity and cohesion of the ECOWAS Community. Despite the established normative framework on peace and security, as well as the ECOWAS Supplementary Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance, unconstitutional and undemocratic changes of government continue to disrupt the region.

CSOs and pro-democracy actors, who convened on December 8, 2023, in Abuja before the 64th Ordinary Session, called on ECOWAS to expedite the review of the Supplementary Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance. They advocated for the inclusion of measures against unlimited presidential terms or term limit extensions, noting the adverse effects of term elongation on regional peace and security.

The memorandum acknowledges the directives from the 64th Ordinary Session, instructing the ECOWAS Commission to finalise and present the draft Revised Supplementary Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance for adoption. Additionally, it supports the resolution to convene an extraordinary summit on Unconstitutional Changes of Government (UCGs) and urged The Gambia to adopt a new constitution ahead of the 2026 general elections, and applauds efforts to consolidate democracy in Guinea-Bissau.

WADEMOS and its partners reaffirmed their dedication to the prosperity and development of the region. They urged ECOWAS Heads of States to consider their recommendations seriously, aiming to reinforce democratic governance, ensure lasting peace, and foster closer integration among West African nations.

As ECOWAS leaders prepare for the 65th Session, the unified voice of WADEMOS and regional CSOs emphasises the urgent need for democratic reforms and robust governance. Their collective efforts and recommendations seek to create a more stable, secure and democratic West Africa for all its citizens.

WADEMOS reaffirms their commitment to supporting ECOWAS in preventing and resolving conflicts and enhancing its capacity to address emerging threats to democracy and peace in West Africa.

“As civil society and pro-democracy actors, we are prepared to collaborate with the ECOWAS Commission, regional governments, and citizens to expedite actions on these critical issues, which pose significant threats to the stability of the sub-region,” the concluded.