President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has congratulated the opposition candidate in last Sunday’s presidential election run-off in Senegal, Mr. Macky Sall, on his election as President-Elect of Senegal.
Describing his election as “victory for democracy and just reward for all Senegalese people who kept faith in the democratic process and voted responsibly in what has proved to be a watershed election,” the President noted that “the Senegalese people have confirmed that theirs is a mature democracy built on freedom and respect for rules and laws.”
“If there was ever any doubt, this election has proved that the foundation of Senegalese democracy is rock solid. This is good for the Senegalese people and also for our sub-region, especially at a time one of our brother countries is facing grave challenges to constitutional order,” he said.
President Jonathan further observed that Sall’s “commitment to democracy and remarkable leadership and doggedness in the face of great odds are proof that he is the right person to heal wounds, unite the country and lead Senegal along the path of peace, equity and prosperity.”
The President while also commending incumbent President Abdoulaye Wade, “for graciously accepting defeat, showing great maturity and statesmanship and organising an election that was adjudged free and fair, whose outcome he has accepted,” recommended Wade’s example to all other leaders on the African continent.
“The outcome of the election in Senegal is good for West Africa and the African continent,” he stressed, adding that “he looks forward to working with President-elect Sall and the people of Senegal for the mutual benefit of our two countries and for the peace, stability and prosperity of our sub-region.”
…Says Credible Electoral Process Panacea For Good Governance
The President, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, has said that for good governance to thrive in Africa, the processes that lead to elections must be all inclusive, transparent, and credible.
President Jonathan stated this Monday, in Abuja, while declaring open the Conference of Knowledge Sharing Among African Election Management Bodies (EMBs), organised by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Dr. Jonathan, who was represented by the Vice President, Arc Mohammed Namadi Sambo, said “when we invest the electoral process with credibility and transparency, we would be able to effectively overcome the adverse implications of political and governance crises. Enduring peace and stability would necessarily engender sustained growth and economic development.”
President Jonathan stating that entrenchment of democratic ideals in the African continent was the preoccupation of the African Union, urged participants to “collectively resolve to position Africa as a continent where the highest of democratic ideals have irreversibly taken root.”
Dr. Jonathan implored them to utilise the experiences they would gain from the exchange of ideas to further drive the consolidation of democracy in the continent.
He noted that his administration had laid down solid foundation for the electoral processes in Nigeria, which had earned it accolades in the conduct of the last general elections, adjudged to be the most freest and fairest ever held in the country. He reiterated the administration’s resolve to continue to maintain INEC’s independence.
Speaking earlier, the Chairman of INEC, Professor Attahiru Jega stated that the conference which had the participation of 16 African countries represented by the heads of their electoral bodies was aimed at replicating best practices, facilitating exchange of information and to encourage development of professionalism in the continent’s electoral process. He expressed confidence that the conference would answer some questions related to the conduct of election in Africa.
In their respective goodwill messages, the Nigerian Senate and House of Representatives urged the executive arm of government to see election as a process and to provide all the basic infrastructures that INEC requires for it to be truly independent.
Dr. Anil Seal, Director, Malaysian Commonwealth Studies Centre, Trinity College, Cambridge, delivered the keynote Address, on ‘The Planning and Conduct of Elections in
Transitional Democracies: Issues, Challenges, and the Way Forward.’
The two day conference has the theme “The Electoral Process on the African Continent”.