The ECOWAS Network of Electoral Commissions on August 7,2019 elected the Chairman of Cape Verde Electoral Commission, Dr Maria do Rosario Lopes Pereira Goncalves as its president.
With this development, the new President, who was former treasurer, has taken over ECONEC leadership from the chairman of Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof Mahmood Yakubu.
Other members of the Steering Committee are 1st Vice President, Newton Ahmed Barry of Bourkinafso; 2nd Vice President, Momarr Alieu Njai of The Gambia; Treasurer, Amadou Ba from Mali and Deputy Treasurer, Jean Mensa who is chairman of the Electoral Commission of Ghana.
Delivering her speech, Pereira Goncalves expressed appreciation to her colleagues for selecting her.
She also expressed the commitment of her team to fulfil the engagement and responsibilities of ECONEC and consolidate on the work of past presidents of ECONEC.
Earlier, Yakubu said that member states would continue to assist themselves to conduct credible elections in the West African sub-region.
He said that the purpose of electoral commissions of ECOWAS member countries coming together was with a view to helping one another to entrench credible elections through peer review and support.
This, according to the INEC chairman, was due to their concern about the high cost of elections in the sub-region and the need to help one another.
He assured that member states had the ability to work together and get support from one another.
Yakubu stated that in West African sub-region, all the countries were democratic countries conducting periodic elections.
“We will continue to help each other in the subregion subject to the availability of resources, but we can see that that kind of relationship has helped us. We shouldn’t just wait until governments act. There are things that we can do as a little commission to support one another and to consolidate our democracies in this subregion”, Yakubu said.