Praia, Cabo Verde, 16 October, 2021 – Gen. Salou Djibo (rtd), Head of the ECOWAS Observation Mission to Cabo Verde’s Sunday presidential election has urged the regional observers to execute their mission with a high sense of responsibility, neutrality and professional.
“We are required to work with autonomy and impartiality and as a team,” Gen. Salou, Niger’s former Interim President, told 40 ECOWAS Short-term Observers (STOs) in Praia, the nation’s capital on Saturday.
Eleven Long-term Observers (LTOs), a Core Team and the Technical Support team from the ECOWAS Commission are already on ground.
Gen. Djibo later met with some of the presidential candidates or their representatives.
In his address of welcome, Gen. Francis Behanzin, ECOWAS Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security, also called on the observers to be good Ambassadors of the Community, and ensure strict compliance with the regional Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance governing their deployment.
On behalf of the President of the ECOWAS Commission Jean-Claude Kassi Brou, the ECOWAS Resident Representative in Cabo Verde, Dr Samuel Lamptey briefed the observers on the history and political context of Sunday’s presidential poll. It is the seventh election and would produce the fifth president since the country’s independence from Portugal in 1975.
The Core Team later briefed the observers on the electoral operations, constitutional and legal frameworks, media landscape and role during elections.
Mr Francis Oke, Head of ECOWAS Electoral Assistance Division and other members of the Technical Support Team, took the observers through electoral security, observation methodology, deployment plan and the logistics.
Cabo Verde, an Archipelago with five islets and 10 islands, nine of which are habitable, has an estimated population of 550,000 people.
The insular nation’s 398,864 registered voters will cast their ballots on Sunday at home and in the diaspora, to elect a new president from among seven candidates, including two former Prime Ministers, who are the frontrunners.
Outgoing President Jose Carlos Fonseca is not running having reached the constitutional two-term limit. If none of the seven candidates meets the constitutional 50% +1vote to win on Sunday, a run-off will take place on October 31, between the two with the most votes.