By Lizzy Okoji
The ECOWAS Parliament has pledged its support to the Malian people as the country embarks on transition to democratic rule.
Speaker of the parliament Sidie Mohamed Tunis pledged the support of the sub-regional congress when he led a parliamentary mission to Mali as part of activities of the sub-regional lawmakers to support the West African country.
The speaker also stressed that the legislative body recognised the National Transitional Council (CNT), the body set up at the beginning of December and entrusted with legislative power.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the parliamentary mission was mooted by the speaker during his opening speech at the January Virtual Ordinary Session of the parliament.
The mission was specifically meant to support the transition process in Mali, in line with the relevant decisions of the Special Meeting on Mali, of ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government, held in September 2020 in Accra.
Speaking after a meeting with the First Deputy Speaker of the CNT, Mr Assarid Imbarkawane, Tunis said: “We are here to hold parliamentary discussions with the Speaker and the CNT all geared towards giving the support to the Malian people.
“As members of ECOWAS Parliament, we recognise the CNT and it is in the interest of the Malian people that we work with them, advise them, and give whatever support that they need.
“We had very frank discussions and we were able to give some advice on how we can continue to have peace and stability in Mali.
“We are very pleased with the explanation that we got from the President of the CNT and we also hope to meet with other political party players to see how we can encourage them to work together as a country for the interest of the people of Mali.”
The speaker added that as part of the mission, members of the sub-regional parliament would hold further discussions with the CNT as well as lawmakers who had been posted to ECOWAS.
He urged the CNT to ensure that it worked to advance peace and stability in Mali throughout the transition process.
“Between now and the time for the elections, the ECOWAS Parliament will continue to engage them to ensure that we all go by the rules, to ensure inclusive dialogue that will bring all political players on board.
“So that at the end of the day when we have the elections, it would be acceptable to everybody,” he said.