Former President, Dr. Goodlicuk Jonathan has suggested that the Commonwealth should develop a benchmarking system of election reporting for member countries.
Jonathan, who spoke at a special virtual high level panel which focused on 40 years of Commonwealth’s election observation experience, argued that member-nations’ performance in conduct of elections should be evaluated against defined assessment standards.
The former president in a statement by his media officer, Ikechukwu Eze, said this can be done without compromising Commonwealth’s policy of neutrality and non-interference on internal affairs of member-nations.
According to him: “The Commonwealth should not just observe elections and make recommendations. I want the Commonwealth to go further by scoring countries according to their performance.
“The democracy marker can be used to grade all the 53-member states.
“After every election, the Commonwealth should review the processes to be able to grade and place every country on a particular rung of the election marker.
“Once you do that you will find that those in charge of affairs in every country in the Commonwealth will then begin to make conscious efforts to improve on their performance. That way, Commonwealth recommendations after observing elections, will become more meaningful.”
He stated that the rating could be for measuring compliance to identified criteria, preferably on a scale of 1-4 or category A – D, depending on the agreed template.
Jonathan defended that there will be no risk of direct interference because those who win under any of the identified categories will continue to run their countries according to their own national rules and laws.