The Speaker of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Parliament, Sidie Tunis, has warned against the erosion of democracy in the region.
Tunis was speaking on Friday at the opening of the Second Parliamentary Seminar for the year 2023 in Winneba, Ghana. The seminar is being held under the theme “The Challenges of Unconstitutional Regime Change and Presidential Term Limits in West Africa – The Role of the ECOWAS Parliament.”
Tunis said that the re-emergence of military coups and the overthrow of democratic governments in Mali, Guinea, Burkina Faso, and Niger were a sign of the erosion of democracy in the region. He also expressed concern about the growing interference of the military in the political governance of the state.
Tunis said that the ECOWAS Parliament was committed to upholding regional stability and promoting democracy, economic growth, and the rule of law. He called on parliamentarians to step up and demonstrate the extraordinary leadership that is expected of them.
“The adage ‘to whom much is given, much is expected’ applies here. We must embrace democracy as essential to progress and muster the confidence to speak out against leaders who are solidifying their hold on power against the wishes of the people because we have a moral obligation to do so,” Tunis said.
He also called on the ECOWAS Parliament to take charge and ensure that National Parliaments carry out conflict prevention measures in addition to overseeing the effective operation of the ECOWAS Early Warning System.
Tunis also said that the ECOWAS Parliament was working to establish a Youth Parliament to facilitate the active participation of youths across the region in achieving the community vision.
The ECOWAS Parliament is the legislative arm of the Economic Community of West African States. It is made up of 115 members from the 15 ECOWAS member states. The Parliament’s role is to promote democracy, good governance, and human rights in the region.