The Independent National Electoral Commision (INEC) officials register voters in Lagos, Nigeria, on March 28, 2015. Polling stations across Nigeria opened on Saturday amid tight security, as more than 56 million eligible voters went there to cast their ballots to elect a new president, Nigeria's Independent National Electoral Commission said. (Xinhua/Idowu Ogunleye)
The Independent National Electoral Commision (INEC) officials register voters in Lagos, Nigeria, on March 28, 2015. Polling stations across Nigeria opened on Saturday amid tight security, as more than 56 million eligible voters went there to cast their ballots to elect a new president, Nigeria's Independent National Electoral Commission said. (Xinhua/Idowu Ogunleye)

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Authority has tasked Nigeria and Senegal to ensure the conduct of general elections in both countries are peaceful, free and transparent.

In a final communique issued at the just concluded 54th Ordinary Session in Abuja on Sunday, the West African leaders directed the ECOWAS Commission to provide necessary support to the two countries during next February polls.

“The Authority notes with satisfaction, the status of preparation for the general elections in Nigeria on Feb. 16, 2019, and the presidential election in Senegal on Feb. 24, 2019, and urges the government and relevant electoral bodies to leave no stone unturned in ensuring the elections are peaceful, free and transparent,” said the communique sent to the official News Agency of Nigeria.

The leaders also lauded the smooth conduct of the presidential elections in Mali and congratulated President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita on his re-election.

On the political situation in Togo, the leaders commended the endeavors of President Nana Akuffo-Addo of Ghana, President Alpha Conde of the Republic of Guinea and ECOWAS facilitators in the resolution of the crisis.

They noted the readiness of the Togolese government to organize local elections in 2019 and encouraged the active involvement of all stakeholders for a peaceful process.

The regional bloc also encouraged the Togolese government to intensify the peace and confidence-building measures between all political stakeholders to further ease the socio-political situation.

On Guinea Bissau, the heads of state expressed concern on the continued delay in the conduct of parliamentary elections, taking note of the challenges involved.

The leaders also reaffirmed the importance of peace, security and stability in ECOWAS for the economic development of the region. Enditem

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