Commonwealth appoints Jonathan to mediate in Zanzibar election crisis

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ABUJA (Sundiata Post) – Following a successful leadership of the Commonwealth Observer
Group to last month’s Tanzania general elections, the 53-nation body ‎of former British colonies has given former President Goodluck Jonathan a fresh mandate to lead the charge for the resolution of the
political stalemate in the semi-independent island of Zanzibar.
After the October 25 general elections 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. However, tension erupted on the island of Zanzibar, following the nullification of the presidential election results by the local
electoral body, over claims of irregularities. International observers have continued to dispute this decision on the grounds that both the
voting and counting processes were held in an atmosphere of peace.
The Commonwealth, which has a history of mediating on the island, has kick-started the international efforts towards resolving the current
crisis, by appointing Jonathan as its special representative, in what analysts see as an affirmation of the former President’s towering
status as the moral face of democracy and transparent polling in Africa.[pro_ad_display_adzone id=”70560″]

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This development was conveyed to Jonathan last week in a letter sent to him by the Commonwealth Secretary General, Mr Kamalesh Sharma.
In the letter which Sharma personally signed, the Secretary-General wrote: “As 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. In view of the Commonwealth’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.
“I 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. I am certain that your personal close interest can play a crucial role in building the necessary political bridges.”
He further commended Jonathan for his successful leadership of the COG, saying that he brought his rare experience to bear on the challenging mission. Sharma said further: “I am writing to thank you
once again for rendering the Commonwealth such distinguished service through your generous personal commitment of time and your leadership
of the Commonwealth Observer Group to last week’s elections in the United Republic of Tanzania. This has proved to be a challenging mission and your experience and guidance has been of immeasurable value.”
Jonathan, sources told Sundiata Post, has set about this new mission by quietly engaging with the key stakeholders in the disputed election. It was gathered that a round of talks will be held in the coming weeks under the chairmanship of the former president who is expected to bring all the parties together to find a lasting solution.


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