ECOWAS parliament seeks Court’s opinion on Mali’s nominees status

ECOWAS parliament seeks Court's opinion on Mali's nominees status

The Community Court of Justice of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has been asked to determine whether members of the National Transitional Council (NTC) of Mali, elected to represent the country in the regional parliament should be sworn in as its (ECOWAS Parliament’s) members or not.

An application to that effect was filed by the ECOWAS parliament seeing the legal status of the nominees in view of the political development in Mali

ECOWAS Parliament is, by its application marked: ECW/CCJ/ADV: OPN/01/21 seeking the court to interpret Articles 18.1 (g) and 18.2 (a) & (b) of the Supplementary Act on the enhancement of the powers of the parliament, which relates to the status of members nominated from the transitional parliaments from member states.

The statement by a spokeswoman of the court, Elohor Ovadje, a panel of three judges, led by its President, Justice Edward Amoako Asante, has been constituted to hear the application titled “Interpretation of Supplementary Act” and signed by the Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament, Hon. Sidie Mohamed Tunis.
Other members of the panel are Hon. Justice Dupe Atoki and Hon. Justice January Costa.

The ECOWAS Parliament’s application was informed by a letter, dated January 7, 2021 from the President of the Conseil National de Transition (CNT) of Mali, which serves as the country’s parliament, forwarding the list of the six members elected at the CNT’s plenary sitting on 5th January 2021 as the country’s representatives to the ECOWAS Parliament.

In the application dated 29th March 2021, the Speaker acknowledged that the CNT is an organ of the transition Government of Mali which has been recognised by the ECOWAS Community, African Union and the International Community.

The Speaker claimed that the CNT serves as an interim Parliament that will vote Political, Institutional, Electoral and Administrative reforms leading to the return to Constitutional order as provided for in their Transitional Charter and that in conformity with the Supplementary Act relating to the enhancement of the powers of the ECOWAS Parliament, the new Members have to be sworn in before taking office as members of the ECOWAS Parliament.

He also stated that Article 18(a) of the Supplementary Act states that representatives of ECOWAS Parliament shall be elected by direct universal suffrage by the citizens of member states.

It is against this background that the Speaker is asking the Court to determine and pronounce whether or not the members of CNT elected at a plenary sitting on January 2021 to represent Mali at the ECOWAS Parliament can be considered as ECOWAS Parliament’s members and be sworn in.

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