Leader of a delegation of Commonwealth election observers to Tanzania, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan has urged contestants in country’s presidential election to promptly accept the outcome should they be defeated in the October 25 election.
The former President of Nigeria told the politicians in the country, “If you lose, accept defeat,” warning that any attempt to reject the will of the people will only lead to chaos and affect the peace and unity of Tanzania.
Jonathan spoke with election stakeholders in Dar es Salaam, including the chairman of the country’s electoral commission, leaders of political parties, journalists, youth organizations and the civil society.
He maintained that it was imperative for them to realize that all stakeholders must play their part for the election to be free and fair.
He noted that he immediately accepted defeat after losing his re-election bid early this year because he did not want personal ambition to derail democracy in Nigeria, stressing that he was not ready to allow his “personal ambition to scuttle a democratic system I had helped to nurture.”
“In any election, there are winners and losers. The presidential candidate who loses on Sunday should gracefully concede the election to avert a political crisis.”
Tanzania’s two leading national newspapers, The Guardian and The Citizen, which have been celebrating the former Nigerian leader since his arrival on Monday, quoted him as saying: “If all parties, including the national electoral commission, political parties, and police force will play their role, nothing will stop Tanzania to record a free and fair election this year.
“Successful elections will depend on how each stakeholder plays his or her role to ensure a peaceful, inclusive and transparent electoral process…I’m confident Tanzanians will achieve this.”
Assuring the public that the Commonwealth Observers Group would perform their observation role with impartiality, independence and transparency, he said the group would issue an interim statement on the preliminary findings shortly after the elections, while a final report would be prepared in Tanzania.
“We will also submit the report on the Tanzanian elections to the Secretary General of the Commonwealth and subsequently share with relevant stakeholders and the public.
“The group is scheduled to depart in Tanzania on 31st October 2015,” Jonathan stated.
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