Jonathan to mediate in Zanzibar poll stalemate
The Commonwealth has appointed former President Goodluck Jonathan to lead the charge for the resolution of the political stalemate in the semi-independent island of Zanzibar.
Jonathanâ€™s new appointment as Commonwealth Special representative is seen as an affirmation of the former Presidentâ€™s towering status as the moral face of democracy and transparent polling in Africa.
The new appointment was conveyed to Jonathan last week in a letter sent to him by the Commonwealth Secretary General, Mr. Kamalesh Sharma.
The appointment followed his highly acclaimed leadership of the Commonwealth Observer Group (COG) to last monthâ€™s Tanzania general election.
After the October 25 general election which produced John Magufuli as the new President of Tanzania, the Jonathan-led COG and other international observers had endorsed the polling processes as credible.
Jonathan has now been drafted in to quell the tension brewing on the island of Zanzibar, following the nullification of the presidential election results by the local electoral body, citing irregularities.
International observers have continued to dispute the decision, on the grounds that both the voting and counting processes were held in an atmosphere of peace.
In the letter which Sharma personally signed, the Secretary-General wrote: â€œAs you are aware, the Zanzibar electoral situation remains unsolved, although recent reports indicating willingness by the main political parties to engage in talking is encouraging.
â€œIn view of the Commonwealthâ€™s historical role as the moral generator of the Muafaka Accords, it is important that we remain engaged to continue to encourage all concerned to resolve the situation in a peaceful and sustainable manner.
â€œI am therefore delighted and honoured that you have kindly agreed to be my Special Representative over the coming weeks, in order to remain in contact with key political leaders and to encourage them towards an expeditious resolution of the impasse.â€
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