ECOWAS court president sees upheavals in Guinea, Mali endangering democracy in West Africa

Justice Edward Asante, President of the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice has warned that the recent political upheavals in Guinea and Mali portend grave danger towards a consolidated democracy in West Africa.

Asante made this known while speaking at an event organized by the UN Association of Ghana (UNA-Ghana) to mark the UN International Democracy Day in Accra, themed “Role of un associations in promoting Democracy, Human Rights and World Peace”.

The Communications Department of the ECOWAS Court disclosed this in a statement on Thursday in Abuja.

According to Asante, the recent developments were particularly disconcerting as it represents the latest affront of democratic consolidation in a region which has since 2002, experienced such disruptions in six Member States.

He said that the disruptions are indicative of a malaise with our approach to multi-party democracy, whose normative underpinnings such as zero tolerance for unconstitutional change of government, abolition of tenure elongation beyond the two terms of office.

“The conduct of free, fair and credible elections as well as the scrupulous adherence to the separation of powers are under threat.

“As you celebrate the 2021 democracy day against the menacing shadow of the seeming unrelenting march of military adventurers to erode our democratic gains.

“An opportunity has been created for those with a role in nurturing our cherished democracy to constitute themselves into a bulwark for its protection,”” Asante said.

Asante also challenged the Association to reflect on how it could leverage its network to contribute towards the effort to salvage the region’s democracy which require the collective effort of all the segments of the society as this provides a better assurance of success.

He also spoke of the role of the Community Court in strengthening respect for the rule of law, accountability, regional peace and security through the exercise of its human rights mandate that was conferred by its 2005 Protocol.

“This mandate underpins a regional commitment to respect human rights and fundamental freedoms in all facets of life, as encapsulated in the 1991 Declaration of Political Principles and the 1993 ECOWAS Revised Treaty,” he emphasized.

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