Ballot should decide winners of elections not courts, says Jonathan
Goodluck Jonathan, Nigeria ex-President has stated that courts should not decide winners of elections but only the ballot.
This statement was made by the former president while speaking with journalists in Abuja on Monday during a courtesy visit to TOS Television Network.
Jonathan said when there are discrepancies in the electoral process, the court is supposed to order a rerun and not declare a winner.
The former president also said the inducement of voters by politicians in the country has made elections very expensive.
He called for stiffer punishment for people who induce voters with gifts and cash.
“Ballot papers should be the basis of selecting political office holders. If it is the judiciary that should select them, then we are not yet there,” Jonathan said.
“I am not saying the judiciary is not doing well, but our laws should suppress the idea of our judiciary returning candidates. The ballots should decide who occupies the councillorship seat up to the presidency. That is democracy.
“The problem we have in Nigeria is the use of money to induce some voters. Compared to other African countries, we spend too much money here. Probably, we need to review our laws because I have observed a number of elections in African countries.
“Here, if somebody is contesting elections, you buy bags of rice, wrappers, and all manner of items to induce the electorate. Ordinarily, our electoral laws are supposed to frown on such practices.
“If you do that, you are supposed to be disqualified from contesting in the election. So, these are the things that make our elections expensive. I think if the young people are willing, things should begin to change.
“For instance in Tanzania, a candidate does not need to print his name on matchbox or any item to woo voters. If you do that, they say that you are inducing the electorate. It is against their laws.”
Jonathan commended the TV network for the level of work being done to drive gender equity and youth participation in politics.
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