Former President Goodluck Jonathan has charged members of di Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Parliament to champion national processes.
Jonathan wants the Parliament to champion a process that would strengthen democracy and improve governance in West Africa to reverse the trend of military coup d’état and growing social tension in the region.
The former President stated this while addressing the First Extraordinary Session of the Fifth ECOWAS Parliament, which has just ended in Monrovia, Liberia.
Describing the Parliament as the soul and heart of democracy, Dr Jonathan urged the parliamentarians to seek to protect democracy in West Africa by making laws that would guarantee the independence of the electoral management bodies, ensure electronic voting, safeguard the rule of law and preserve constitutional term limits.
“We have to grow our democracy to a level where people will believe that their votes will count. That will only be possible if they have confidence in the impartiality and neutrality of electoral management bodies.”
The former President, who is the ECOWAS mediator in Mali, also reiterated his call for the adoption of electronic voting in ECOWAS nations.
He added that the deployment of technology and automation would sanitise electoral processes by reducing the high incidence of electoral malpractices such as ballot-box stuffing, results falsification, thuggery and violence during elections.
Former President Goodluck Jonathan later charged the leaders to deepen the engagement on improving economic growth and promoting development.