Jonathan to world leaders: Allow citizens to exercise their rights via ballots



Goodluck Jonathan, former president of Nigeria, says world leaders must pursue peace in their respective countries by practising true democracy.


Speaking on Sunday at the international leadership conference in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Jonathan said good governance is the catalyst for political stability, advancement, and inclusive development.


The conference was jointly organised by the International Association of Parliamentarians for Peace (IAPP)  and the Asian Vision Institute (AVI).


According to the former president, citizens vote for long-lasting peace and sustainable development when they are given the freedom to exercise their rights.


 “I urge world leaders to truly imbibe and embrace these principles of true democracy by not just overseeing routine elections but conducting elections that are free, fair, inclusive, transparent and credible towards placing governance at the service of the people and establishing a culture of global peace and harmony,” Jonathan said.


“Frankly speaking, talking about elections, it is important to note that the election value chain through voting in the field, processing and collating of results to the announcement of the outcomes, and in some countries, the judicial procedures where the processes go through litigations, must be built on a solid foundation of justice for democracy to function effectively.


“The International Summit Council for Peace (ISCP-Africa), which I chair, will continue to advocate for a democratic culture rooted in free, fair elections, rule of law and good governance.


“The world will be better when we commit to building on the common ground we all share as one human family and promote greater solidarity among all peoples.


“On this note, let me remind all of us that before the COVID-19 pandemic, some nations had been under the impression that they could survive solely on their own.


“However, the COVID-19 experience has made it very clear that the whole world must work together for the peace and security of humanity. Of course, up to this time, many nations are still struggling to recover from the harmful effect and deadly impact of the pandemic.


“The experience has indeed demonstrated the need for inter-dependence, mutual prosperity and shared values as enunciated by the universal peace federation (UPF).”


Meanwhile, the general election in Cambodia was held on Sunday.


According to Aljazeera, Hun Sen, the country’s prime minister, has claimed a “landslide” victory in national elections which is widely viewed as flawed.


Sen has been in office since 1985.

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