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Observers confident in South Africa’s elections, says Jonathan

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Former President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan

Head of Election Observer Mission of the Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa (EISA), former President Goodluck Jonathan, has expressed confidence in South Africa’s elections.

He stressed that his position was based on what the group has observed so far.

Speaking to the SABC News at the Independent Electoral Commission’s Results Operation Centre in Pretoria, Jonathan said the body that manages the elections plays an important role in ensuring safe and successful polls.

His words: “This year’s election appears to be one of the strongly contested elections so far in the history of South African democracy and everybody is interested in the outcome. We have observed some of the rallies and we are quite comfortable how things are going.

“The key thing about elections is the body managing the election, the security apparatuses and the police. If the stakeholders, the political parties have confidence in these two organisations, then of course, we are quite hopeful.”

Jonathan also expressed hope that management of elections was improving across the African continent.

“I have gone to many African nations as leader of different observer missions including the Commonwealth, African Union, National Democratic Institute and the EISA and I am quite impressed and hopeful that the standard of managing our elections will continue to improve” he said.

He maintained that the trend of well-managed elections would bring about marked improvement in leadership and development on the continent, adding: “I believe that If we improve our election standards, we will get to the point where people can remove a leader they feel is not leading them well with their votes.”

Jonathan, who declared that young people have a role to play in governance, however, added that leadership in Africa should not focus on age alone but on competence and ability of leaders to understand new trends in governance and information technology, especially in the age of knowledge-based economy.

“Good leadership does not depend on age alone. It has to do with the individual. The key thing is being able to lead your country well,” he added.


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