Asean exec cites PH for election best practices
An official of the Association of the Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) on Wednesday hailed the Philippines as having one of the best practices in election administration in the region.
“I believe this is one of the models, one of the best practices that we can refer to and we are very proud for other member states to learn and emulate what the Philippines has gained and progressed over the years,” said AKP Mochtan, Asean Secretariat’s deputy secretary general, in a press briefing for the first Asean Workshop on Election Observation.
“I was very encouraged to hear that this is the 75th anniversary of the Commission (Commission on Elections). And this testifies that the Philippines has a very long history, perhaps if not the longest, in the region,” Mochtan added.
The Philippines is the only country among the Asean countries to hold a fully automated elections on a nationwide scale, said Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez.
“On a scale that we did it, yes [we are the first to hold fully automated elections]. From the voting, canvassing, etcetera… for the entire nation and for the number of positions, yes [we are the first]. We are the only country that fully committed to the automation of the election process from end to end,” Jimenez added.
Jimenez said other Asean countries only automated some parts of their electoral process.
He said the Philippine experience on automated elections was continuously being cited as an example to other countries.
“We had two automated elections and we are constantly mentioned as an example of automation,” the Comelec official said.
Comelec Chair Andres Bautista said the workshop was significant in terms of providing the basics of election observations, as well as learning from the best practices of election methods.
“It’s a good opportunity for us to look at and adopt best practices that can be adopted in the home country. We may have different kinds of government, different ways of conducting elections, but I think we can learn from each other, that’s why fora and conferences such as this are very important,” said Bautista in a press briefing.
“Election observation missions serves as an additional safeguard to sort of like ensure that elections are conducted in a credible and transparent manner. In the same way that we invite our Asean neighbors to come over and observe our elections, we are also invited to see theirs… With the advent of Asean integration, election observation will be one of the most significant glues that will forge our various states into an even stronger regional whole,” he said.
Bautista added that election observers are an invaluable source of third-party opinions on how adeptly the polls have been managed, how protected the electorate’s rights and privileges have been, and ultimately, how credible the elections have been.
According to him, more international election observers are expected to monitor the May 2016 national and local polls.
This early, the poll body has been receiving several queries from different media organizations on how they can participate in the next elections, the Comelec said.