Justice Sienynen Youh and NEC Boss, Davidetta Browne Lansanah

HE. Madam, Mariam Chabi Talata, Vice President of the Republic of Benin, on Tuesday June 7, 2022, officially opened the inaugural meeting of the West African High Courts for Electoral Disputes in Cotonou, Benin’s Capitol City.

The Chairperson of the National Elections Commission (NEC), Madam Davidetta Browne Lansanah, and Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Liberia, Sienynen Youh, are representing Liberia at the Cotonou summit.

Madam Mariam Chabi Talata, Vice President of Benin, noted in her introductory remarks that Africa is not alone when it comes to electoral violence. Madam Talata emphasized the importance of strengthening institutions’ assessments in order to mitigate the many challenges that arise from election administration, as well as providing the necessary funds to correct mistakes and make adjustments in a way that promotes transparency, credibility, and integrity.

According to a report from Cotonou, Benin’s Vice President urged regional leaders and institutions to promote unity and patriotism by learning together, facing obstacles together, respecting people’s desires, and maintaining a sub-regional, African viewpoint and democracy.

The first high courts meeting, according to a NEC-Liberia statement issued Tuesday, 7 June 2022, will be attended by over 300 delegates from Benin’s high-ranking government ministers, members of parliament, and the judiciary, including those from the Sub-region and the president and members of the ECOWAS Network of Election Commissions (ECONEC).

According to a statement, the Liberian delegation will remain in Cotonou for 3-days attending workshop on the sharing of experience of the Constitutional Court within the West African Region.

Madam Davidetta Browne Lansanah, will participate in the first meeting of Jurisdictions in charge of Electoral Disputes, organized by the ECOWAS Commission of West Africa.

The NEC-Liberia Boss will participate in the Cotonou workshop that seeks to create a forum to bring together the heads of the Constitutional Courts of the region to discuss electoral and adjudication matters, as constitutional courts in the region are enriched with methods and tools to prevent political and electoral crisis. 

A NEC statement quotes a dispatch from Abuja, Nigeria, from the office of the Commissioner General for Political Affairs, Peace and Security, Francis A. Behazin, saying the workshop is in line with article 1 (a/b) of the ECOWAS Supplementary Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance, signed by member states in 2001.

The NEC statement issued on Monday, June 6, 2022 said the protocol speaks on the basis that all member states of texts and laws should organize periodic elections to choose their respective leaders.

The ECOWAS protocol under article 7 provides for the need for adequate arrangements to be made to hear and dispose of all petitions relating to the conduct of elections and announcements of results by all member states.

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