Communique Call on Citizens Observer Groups in West Africa to champion Electoral Reforms by West Africa Election Observers Network (WAEON) The members of the West Africa Election Observers Network (WAEON) (a coalition of non-partisan citizen observation groups in 11 West African countries, namely: Burkina Faso, Cote D'Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Niger, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo) met at a training workshop in Accra, Ghana, from the 28th May, 2014 to share experiences on the role Citizens Observer Groups play in electoral reforms in West Africa. Members of WAEON observed that although the West African sub-region has in the past two decades seen widespread (re) introduction of regular competitive multi-party elections in many states, the conduct of elections in many African States have been characterized by numerous challenges which have rendered election outcomes disputable/ contested. WAEON urges elections stakeholders- electoral administrators, political parties, citizen election observer groups and other key election actors to address the gaps from competitive elections to safeguard the credibility and integrity of future elections. Furthermore, we are concerned with the reform activities ongoing in a number of countries such as Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal, Togo among others. Members of WAEON reaffirmed their faith in the march of democracy in our countries and the contributions of our organizations which are leading to reforms and resolve to continue the struggle until West Africa has come under free, stable democracy. WAEON calls on all governments in West Africa to demonstrate greater commitment towards consolidating democracy in their countries by implementing fully the tenets of the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance. Accordingly, we congratulate the member states of the African Union who have ratified the African Charter, notably Mauritania, Ethiopia, Sierra Leone, Rwanda, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Lesotho, Zambia, South Africa, Guinea, Chad, Niger, Guinea-Bissau, Nigeria, Benin, Togo, Cameroon, Malawi, Mali and Sudan. We encourage the African countries that have not yet signed and ratified the Charter to do so as a matter of urgency. We also invite all African stakeholders and supporters of democracy, notably civil society organizations and national legislatures, to take up the challenge of popularizing the Charter and advocating for the ratification and its subsequent implementation. WAEON also wants to take this opportunity to encourage the people and government of Ghana to collectively work together on the needed electoral reform agenda in order to cement their commitment towards credible elections, good governance and democracy. Finally, WAEON calls on international institutions such as the ECOWAS, AU and UN to amplify the need and importance of ratifying and implementing the Charter as a way of contributing to the strengthening and consolidation of democracy on the continent. Accra, May 28, 2014. Oumar Diallo Chair, WAEON
The West Africa Election Observers Network (WAEON) is collaborating with the Washington DC-based National Democratic Institute (NDI) to participate in the upcoming general elections in Liberia, scheduled for October 10, 2017. Through NDI, WAEON will contribute to NDI International Observation Mission for the elections.