One of the hallmarks of a functional and healthy democracy is the extent to which there is a seamless and peaceful transfer of power from the governing to the winning party in the event of such an outcome.
I think our democracy has evolved over the past few decades to one of greater political maturity especially since the return of democracy and democratic rule on October 5, 1992. And while it is true that there were sporadic episodes of post-elections tensions and disturbances, these were largely contained thanks to the professionalism of the security forces and other concerned parties.
As we approach the upcoming general and regional elections, there are some lingering fears of post-elections tensions given the current tense political climate. My own view is that the political environment in the country has significantly changed over the years and there is today a much higher level of acceptability and tolerance by both sides of the political divide in the event of a political outcome that may or may not be to their respective liking.
The critical factor is the manner in which the elections are conducted and the integrity, credibility and transparency of the elections processes. Once the results of the elections are officially declared by GECOM and endorsed by the observer groups, there is hardly any room for the contesting parties to challenge the results or to refuse to honour the will of the electorate.
I look forward to a peaceful and transparent elections and more particularly the acceptance by all parties of the will of the electorate. The will of the majority must at all times be the basis of rule. Any departure from this fundamental governance norm is fraught with all manner of dangers. Governments are temporary and transitional but in the final analysis it is the democratic character of the nation-state that defines us in the eyes of the international community.
We have a unique opportunity to showcase our political maturity to the rest of the world. This is undoubtedly one of the most high-stakes elections in our history and it is imperative that we do everything within our power to preserve the democratic fabric of this blessed and resource-rich country.
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