National, News

Include youth, Persons with Disability in electoral law process -Activist

By Bida Elly David

A civil society activist has called on the Transitional National Legislative Assembly to prioritize the representation of interest groups in the ratification of bills to avoid disputes over imbalance.

Edmund Yakani, the Executive Director of Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO), said exclusion persons with disabilities, youth, and women exposes the country to violence.

“I would like to tell our MPs to take their time in ratifying the amendments to the election bill; we have seen some shortfalls in the amendment since the system created for the elections is critical,” Yakani said.

He warned the parliamentarians against undermining the representation of persons with disabilities (PWD) in the ratification of the national election law, noting that, exclusion violates their rights.

“If the parliamentarians will be ratifying the election law, they should never attempt to undermine representation of persons with disabilities with the proposed 2% and the youth with 3%,” he said.

Yakani also urged the August House to prioritize the representation of female gender by 35%, as enshrined in the provisions of the transitional revitalized agreement.

“Balancing the representation will be a very good mechanism for decision-making for transitioning the country from violence to peace by supporting the other parties to the agreement for the success of the upcoming elections,” he said.

CEPO’s executive director underscored the need for inclusion of civil society organizations among the future taskforce between the government and the United Nations in delivering the constitutional and election processes.

“We have concerns around the establishment of the taskforce. As a civil society, we are urging the government with due respect and honor that we need representation in the task force,” Yakani noted.

Yakani echoed that the representation would help the stakeholders take responsibility for fostering civic education through the mechanisms and institutions of civil society.

He stressed that the cabinet ought to speed up the process of passing the pending bills under the agreement to create a conducive environment for the conduct of democratic elections.


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