ECONEC: Cape Verde electoral commission chair replaces Yakubu as president

INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu.
INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu.

The ECOWAS Network of Electoral Commissions (ECONEC) has elected the Chairman of Cape Verde Electoral Commission, Dr, Maria do Rosario Lopes Pereira Goncalves as its new president for the next two year (2019-2021).

Mrs. Goncalves was the former Treasurer of the network under the leadership of immediate past president and Chairman of Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof Mahmood Yakubu.

This is as Nigeria represented by Prof. Yakubu was conferred with the honorary president of ECONEC for its immense contribution to the consolidation of democracy in the ECOWAS sub-region.

The Permanent Secretary of ECONEC and Head of ECOWAS Electoral Assistance Division (EAD), Mr. Sourou Francis Gabriel Oke, who read the communiqué at the end of the 6th Biennial General Assembly on Wednesday in Abuja, said the organisation amongst others, adopted the activity and financial reports of the two years (2017-2019) prepared by the secretariat under the leadership of Prof. Yakubu.

Other members of the new Steering Committee are 1st Vice President, Mr. Newton Ahmed Barry of Burkina Faso; 2nd Vice President, Mr. Momarr Alieu Njai of the Gambia; Treasurer, Mr. Amadou Ba from Mali and Deputy Treasurer Madam Jean Mensa, who is the Chairman of the Electoral Commission of Ghana.

The assembly also commended the outgoing steering committee and the staff of the secretariat and stressed the need for consolidation of the gains achieved under the leadership of the outgoing steering committee and sustainability.

In her acceptance speech, the new ECONEC president, Dr. Maria do Rosario Lopes Pereira Goncalves, expressed appreciation to her colleagues for selecting her.

She also assured of the commitment of her team to fulfil the engagements and responsibilities of ECONEC and also to consolidate on the work of past presidents of the network.

Earlier, in his valedictory speech, Prof. Yakubu, said that member states will continue to assist themselves to conduct credible elections in the West Africa sub-region.

Yakubu said that the purpose of electoral commissions of ECOWAS member countries coming together was to help one another entrench credible elections through peer review and other supports.

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