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Ex-President Jonathan to lead Commonwealth observers for Pakistan’s elections

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The Commonwealth has appointed former Nigerian President, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, as the head of its Election Observation Mission to Pakistan’s general election scheduled for February 8, 2024.

This was disclosed by Jonathan’s aide, Ikechukwu Eze, in a statement, on Wednesday.

The Commonwealth Secretariat, in a statement, said the 13-member Observer Group is due to arrive in Islamabad on February 1, and will remain in the country until the electoral process is completed.

In a letter to Jonathan, the Commonwealth Secretary-General, the Rt Hon Patricia Scotland, commended the former Nigerian president for agreeing to undertake the assignment, adding that the Commonwealth Observer Group (COG) would benefit from his leadership, experience and wisdom.

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Scotland said: “I am grateful that the former President of Nigeria, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, has once again accepted our invitation to serve as Chair of an election observer group. The team of observers will assess the conduct of the process as a whole and, where appropriate, make recommendations for the further strengthening of the electoral system.

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“It is hoped that these recommendations will be of benefit to the people and government of Pakistan in strengthening their electoral processes. The Commonwealth Secretariat would be ready to assist with this process, if deemed necessary.”

She also called on all stakeholders, including political parties and their supporters, to contribute to a peaceful election in keeping up with the Commonwealth values.

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The Commonwealth further stated that members of the COG will observe and consider all aspects of the election process across Pakistan- from the opening of polling stations and the voting process to the counting of ballots and announcement of results.

The statement added that a final report, which will include recommendations to help improve future electoral processes, will be presented to the government of Pakistan and the election commission. The report will also be shared with other stakeholders.

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