Home » Afenyo-Markin Denounces Military Coups in West Africa, Calls for Reinforcement of Democratic Ideals

Afenyo-Markin Denounces Military Coups in West Africa, Calls for Reinforcement of Democratic Ideals

by Ikeoluwa Juliana Ogungbangbe

WINNEBA, Central Region – Ghana’s lead delegate to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Parliament, Mr. Alexander Afenyo-Markin, emphatically denounced the recent military takeovers in the West African region, stressing that such actions undermine the essence of democracy.

Speaking at the 5th ECOWAS Legislature Parliamentary seminar in Winneba, which runs from September 29 to October 7, 2023, Afenyo-Markin argued that even challenges posed by jihadist groups, economic hardships, or disputes over electoral outcomes should not justify these unconstitutional shifts in power.

The ECOWAS Parliament, convening for the second time in Ghana, plays a pivotal role in fostering dialogue and consensus among West African nations. It’s designed to promote regional integration and was established following the ECOWAS Revised Treaty of 1993. With a representation of 115 seats, it serves as a bridge between community members, facilitating dialogue and policy-making to strengthen democratic foundations.

Highlighting the profound risks these coups pose, Afenyo-Markin, also the Deputy Majority Leader of Ghana’s Parliament, cautioned that such actions risk plunging the African continent back into tumultuous times from which they’ve painstakingly emerged. Citing recent coups in nations like Mali, Burkina Faso, and Guinea, he urged an immediate return to democratic norms and principles.

In his words, “The true potential of Africa lies ahead, not in reverting to the tumult of the past decades. Our aspirations of building educational institutions, modern healthcare facilities, and ushering in a new era of industrial growth, especially in light of the AfCFTA, can only flourish under the umbrella of democracy.”

Tackling the seminar’s central theme, he emphasized the urgent need to protect the pillars of democracy. He critiqued leaders who tweak constitutions for prolonged power retention, noting that it significantly compromises the essence of democratic governance.

Drawing inspiration from the late Mr. Kofi Annan, former UN Secretary-General, he remarked that while democracy may not be perfect, history has shown it to be the most conducive governance model for nations seeking progress in harmony. He championed the idea that democracy inherently has the tools to surmount its challenges, enabling societies to cultivate justice, innovation, and freedom.

Concluding, Afenyo-Markin reiterated that this year’s ECOWAS Parliamentary session, decided in May 2023, provides an invaluable platform for member states to address vital regional and continental issues. The session also offers the ECOWAS Commission’s president a platform to report on the Community Work Program, promoting transparency and fostering constructive discussions on the way forward.

SOURCE: GhanaWeb 

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