Former president, Goodluck Jonathan, has emerged as chairperson of the newly inaugurated International Summit Council for Peace (ISCP).
According to Newsjet, the former president got the position on Friday, June 7 at a conference tagged ‘Africa Summit and Leaders Conference 2019’ in South Africa.
The ISCP is a body made up of mainly African former Presidents and ex-Heads of State.
Jonathan in his keynote address titled “The Need for Good Governance and Peaceful Electioneering Process in Africa” noted that the competence, impartiality and independence of Electoral Management Bodies (EMBs) helps electoral processes.
The former President said: “It is interesting that almost all the EMBs in Africa are identified with the prefix ‘Independent’, but the jury is still out on whether these agencies are truly independent as their names imply.”
He said: “The AU should, through its Political Affairs Department, set up a team of electoral experts to study different models and recommend the system they consider best for the continent.
“Such benchmark should also take cognizance of the need to review the election of judicial processes to ensure that, where election tribunals are set up to specifically handle election cases, one judicial officer do not handle the role of appointing all members of the tribunals.
“Since neutrality of the security services is absolutely necessary in ensuring free and fair elections, it is also important that the Africa Union should establish a code of conduct guiding security officials in charge of elections. All these recommendations should be accommodated in AU’s procedures for elections that should serve as guidelines for election observers.”
“Once you get to that point where all role players in elections can express confidence in the umpire and the security systems, you would have solved more than 70% of your electoral challenges. Sadly, not many African countries have got to this point. The point where they can beat their chest and boast of political freedom, inclusiveness, independence of the electoral management body and credibility of the political process.”
With this new position, the former president “is expected to lead the charge for the association’s crusade for peace and good governance on the continent.“
He said: “Democracy is not about holding periodic elections but conducting credible, transparent, free and fair polls. African elections must meet minimum acceptable standards for democracy to be beneficial to the people of the continent.
“African nations must improve their electoral processes by establishing systems that will support and deliver credible elections. That is the impetus the continent needs to achieve lasting peace that will catalyse growth and sustainable development.”