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Former Pres. Koroma Participates In WAEF Strategy Meeting On Effective Democracy

Welcoming participants to the meeting, the Executive Director of the Goodluck Jonathan Foundation, Ann Iyone, highlighted some of the challenges to democracy:

“No country can claim to be democratic or to run a representative system of government that does not have elections as one of the permanent features of its political calendar.

Alarmingly, there has, on aggregate, been a deterioration of the quality of elections in a growing number of West African countries.”

Iyone expressed concern that the implications of the decline in the quality of elections witnessed in several countries are many but of particular importance is the growing risk that sections of the populace might conclude that elections no longer offer a viable path for peacefully & legally changing governments and voting out incumbents”.

Chairman of the WAEF, former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan, expressed the organization’s belief in preventive diplomacy & noted that one of the objectives of the Forum is to shore up the democratic gains of the West African region by meaningfully engaging different stakeholders, pragmatically and responsibly.

President Jonathan added: “Meetings like these serve as an opportunity to review the gains, challenges & threats to peace & democracy in our sub-region and help us strategize on how to meditate so that threats do not degenerate into conflicts.”

“From recent events in Africa, we can draw a lesson on the relationship between peaceful elections, democratic sustenance, & national stability. This is why every process leading to an election is very important to the outcome of the poll,” said former President Jonathan.

The WAEF chairman concluded that it is the responsibility of the ‘Elders’ to identify threats to the transition programmes in the sub-region and seek ways of proactively engaging relevant stakeholders towards resolving such challenges.

Speaking to Ivorian state television, former President Ernest Bai Koroma, acknowledged the democratic strives being made on the continent but lamented the increasing decline in the quality of democracy across Africa. He pointed out that the resurgence of military coups in Africa is an indication that Democracy in West Africa is in crisis, which he associated with the absence of the democratic dividend and the manipulation of the electoral process.

He drew attention to the fact that three West African states are due to hold multi-tier elections next year, noting that the WAEF Strategy Meeting is timely especially also in view of the fact that several legislative elections are slated for 2023.
The Meeting proceeded into a closed session.

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