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By Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS)
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ABUJA, Nigeria, May 17, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The ECOWAS Council of Ministers will meet in Abidjan from 18th May 2012 on the allocation of nine statutory positions in the ECOWAS Commission and other Community institutions.

The two-day extraordinary session will consider proposals by the President of the ECOWAS Commission to fill the vacant positions, including those of the Institution's Financial Controller as well as Director-General and Deputy Director-General of the West African Health Organization (WAHO) based in Bobo Dioulasso, Burkina Faso.

Also due for allocation is the position of the Commissioner for Human Development and Gender in the ECOWAS Commission which will become vacant by July 2012 as well as the Director-General and Deputy Director-General of the Inter-Governmental Group Action against Money Laundering and Terrorism financial in West Africa (GIABA), which fall vacant in April 2013 and January 2013, respectively.

Three other positions in the Community Court of Justice which will be vacant in February 2013 are also to be filled.

The Authority of Heads of State and Government, which approved the guidelines for the allocation of the positions in the Commission and the other Community institutions in February 2012, vests the President of the ECOWAS Commission with responsibility to make proposals based on agreed criteria for consideration by the Council of Ministers.

The criteria/guidelines seek to ensure an equitable, transparent and predictable system for the allocation of positions.

Countries in breach of the provisions of the regional Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance are, however, excluded from benefitting from the posts allocation.

The provisions relate to the occurrence of a coup d'├ętat in a State, a breach of the convergence criteria on democracy and where the government has obtained power through unconstitutional means

In addition, countries that fail to apply the text governing regular payment of the Community Levy may also not benefit from such allocations. The levy, a 0.5 per cent tax on goods imported into Member States from outside the region, was introduced to fund the activities of the Commission and other Community Institutions.

The ministerial Council will submit its recommendations for approval by regional leaders during their mid-year ordinary summit at Yamoussoukro, Cote d'Ivoire.