The Ballot Paper, Not The Judiciary Should Determine Who Wins Elections – Jonathan
Former President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan has said that the ballot paper and not the court should determine who wins elections in Nigeria. He said this can be done when the nation’s electoral laws are strengthened.
He made this known yesterday during his visit to TOSTV Network studios in Abuja.
He noted that the ballot should be what will declare a candidate winner of an election and it is the duty of the judiciary to uphold results that have been declared or to nullify a flawed result and then order a rerun.
According to him, “I had already made a public statement on that to the effect that the ballot paper and not the judiciary should determine who wins elections or select political leaders. The ballot paper should be the only basis for selecting political leaders.”
The court has determined the winner of several elections in Nigeria in spite of the outcome of such elections.
The Supreme Court cancelled the election of Emeka Ihedioha of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the governor of Imo State.
The Supreme Court then declared Hope Uzodinma of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the winner of the March 9, 2020 governorship election in the state.
He further explained that court cases after an election is a sign that democracy is not rooted in the country. He said countries with free and fair elections have little or no election lawsuit.
“I have said this before and I will always repeat it. I am not saying the judiciary is not doing well. But my point is that our laws should suppress the issue of the judiciary returning candidates. If a candidate is declared winner after a flawed electoral process, what the courts can do is to annul the election and order a fresh one, where a winner will finally emerge through the ballot. The ballot paper should decide who holds any elective office from the councillorship to the presidency. That is democracy.”
Jonathan the spoke about the use of money during elections. He said that funds are needed during election campaigns; especially when it comes to logistics but spoke negatively about how money is used to deceive the electorates, the security agents and election officials.
He then commented on the local government been the third tier of government, he said local government laws system should be reviewed so as to bring the dividends of democracy closer to the people. He said the local government is the closest to the people but it is weak in terms of it’s autonomy and in terms of its ability to carry out development issues.