West Africa Election Observers Network Raises Red Flags Over Election Commission Actions

Faure Gnassingbé, President of Togo

February 21, 2020///-The West Africa Election Observers Network (WAEON) is dismayed at the revocation by the National Independent Election Commission (CENI) of the accreditation to the domestic observer group, the National Consultation of Civil Society of Togo (CNSC-Togo).

This revocation of accreditation, coming few days to the polling day, appears to be with no clear justification.

The CNSC-Togo is a credible member of WAEON and subscribes to the Global Principles for Non Partisan Election Observation and Monitoring by Citizen Organizations and the Code of Conduct for Non-Partisan Citizen Election Observers and Monitors.

CNSC-Togo had followed all the requirements set by CENI, recruited, professionally trained and received accreditation from CENI, and was preparing to deploy 600 observers for the elections.

While condemning the actions of CENI, WAEON urged the people of Togo to exercise their franchise during the presidential elections, according to a press statement.

WAEON urged all stakeholders to ensure a congenial atmosphere for a transparent, peaceful, and credible elections.

It wished to remind the Togolese authorities, particularly CENI, that citizens’ observer groups contribute to the promotion of electoral transparency and credibility.

Moreover, that the actions it has taken, not only undermines electoral transparency and credibility, but it is also a blow to the quest for democratic advancement in Togo, especially coming after recent political challenges.

Indeed, the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance, which the Republic of Togo is a signatory, affirms the important role of citizens in electoral processes as poll watchers.

WAEON urged the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), particularly its Elections Assistance Division, to always promote and defend citizens’ observer groups in the sub-region.

WAEON hopes that the CENI and all other stakeholders will work to ensure that the people of Togo have a free, fair and credible election and peaceful outcomes.

Instructively, WAEON is an independent, non-partisan and non-religious organization of citizen observer groups from13 West African Countries that aims at strengthening and supporting Citizens’ Election Observation Groups (CEOGs) in the sub-region.

It was formed in 2010, and has its secretariat based at the Ghana Center for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) in Accra, Ghana.

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