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The Majority Leader of Ghana’s Parliament, Alexander Kwamena Afenyo-Markin has been elected the 3rd Deputy Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament.

Mr. Afenyo-Markin, the leader of Ghana’s delegation to the sub-regional body, brings a wealth of experience to his new role, having been actively involved in parliamentary proceedings both domestically and at the ECOWAS Parliament for a considerable period.

The inauguration of the 6th ECOWAS Parliament took place on Thursday, April 04, 2024. Notably, Guinea’s reinstatement into the fold of the Community, under the Authority of Heads of State, was a prominent feature of the event, reflecting efforts to encourage the country’s return following recent political developments.

However, notable absences were observed as Mali, Niger, and Burkina Faso failed to attend the inauguration.

Furthermore, the Republic of Togo, tasked with producing the Speaker of the 6th Parliament, has yet to finalize its list of candidates. Consequently, the Parliament currently operates with a ceremonial Speaker, Rt. Hon Sidie Mohamed Tunis, as Togo’s parliamentary elections have been postponed from April 20, 2024.

The composition of the Deputy Speakers include Barau Jibrin from Nigeria as the 1st Deputy Speaker, Adjaratou Coulibaly from Ivory Coast as the 2nd Deputy Speaker, and Billay G. Tunkara from the Gambia as the 4th Deputy Speaker.

The election process for the Deputy Speakers involved extensive lobbying efforts, with Cabo Verde vying for a position but ultimately missing out due to financial obligations to the sub-regional bloc. This echoes a similar situation faced by Cabo Verde during the 5th ECOWAS Parliament, where financial constraints hindered their participation, prompting concerns from member states.

As the 6th ECOWAS Parliament begins its term, the elected officials are tasked with addressing regional challenges and advancing the collective interests of member states, amidst a backdrop of political and economic complexities across the region.

Afenyo-Markin is too young to be Majority Leader – Political Analyst