The Fourth Legislature of the ECOWAS Parliament has been inaugurated with Honourable Moustapha Cissé Lô from Republic of Senegal being unanimously elected as Speaker.
Honourable Lô, who is the Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly of Senegal, will serve four years. His emergence is based on a rotational system in alphabetical order in accordance with Article 15 of the Supplementary Protocol establishing the Parliament, which necessitated the Fourth Parliament electing a Speaker from the Republic of Senegal following the end of the mandate of the former Speaker from the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
A memorandum signed by all members of the Senegalese Delegation had announced Honourable Lô as the country’s sole candidate urging other Members of Parliament to support their choice.
The new Speaker promised to continue working for the Enhancement of the Powers of the ECOWAS Parliament as he declared that he was fully aware of the challenges facing the Parliament. “The challenges are numerous especially at a time when resources are dwindling.” He noted.
Chairman of the Authority of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government, President Republic of Senegal, H.E Macky Sall in his message to the event expressed the confidence that the Parliament will be addressing the challenges of the sub-region in its four year tenure.
The President, who was represented by the Senegalese Minister of Integration and Chairman ECOWAS Council of Ministers, Mr Khadim Diop further expressed confidence that Members of Parliament will come up with viable proposals on how to move the Community forward.He described the new Speaker as a strong advocate of regional integration.
President of the ECOWAS Commission, H.E Kadre Desire Ouedraogo described the inauguration of the Fourth Legislature demonstrated the people’s increased participation in the progress of Member States and the realisation of the regional integration agenda.
Ouedraogo urged the Fourth Legislature to emulate its immediate predecessor in working with the Commission and contribute to the excellent results that the two arms had achieved together in the past.
In his goodwill message at the event, Chairman of Nigeria’s National Assembly and President of the Senate, Senator Bukola Saraki promised the continued support of the National Assembly to the ECOWAS Parliament.
Senator Saraki charged the Parliament to do more to raise the living standard of the people of the sub-region. “This is what our people yearn for and this is what I charge you today, to recreate the West African sub-region. This Parliament must lead the way again for us to make the sub—region a major market hub.”
The immediate past Speaker, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, in his valedictory address had said the adoption of the Supplementary Act on the Enhancement of the Powers of the ECOWAS Parliament by the Community Decision Making Bodies remains the most significant achievement of the Third Legislature.
He appealed to ECOWAS Heads of State and Government to sign the document, which has not been signed even after it was adopted at the 46th Ordinary Session of the Authority of Heads of State and Government in Abuja in 2014.
Meanwhile, the Plenary has set up the ad hoc Committee on the Draft Rules of Procedures.
The session continues till Tuesday next week with the Parliament set to elect Deputy Speakers on Friday.