Int’l think tank hails Comelec for May polls
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has been recognized by a London-based international think tank for its outstanding performance in the May 2016 elections.
The Comelec was hailed as the Electoral Commission of the Year and was conferred the Election Management Award by the International Centre for Parliamentary Studies (ICPS).
The top two accolades were given in the ICPS’ 2016 International Electoral Awards held in Maputo, Mozambique, on Wednesday.
Comelec chairperson Andres Bautista said the recognition will inspire him and his fellow election workers to do better and work harder.
“We are elated to be given the awards. Being nominated was already an honor … We dedicate these accolades and share them with all voters and our fellow election workers—the Comelec personnel, hundreds of thousands of Boards of Election Inspectors, citizens’ arms and volunteers,” he said.
In a press conference on Thursday, the poll body chief said the ICPS, which monitored the May 2016 national and local elections, cited the Comelec for its performance in the exercise.
Based in London, the ICPS is a research institution of the UN Public Administration Network. Its International Electoral Award recognizes election management bodies for outstanding and remarkable performance in election work.
Besting other countries
Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez represented the poll body during the awarding in Mozambique last Wednesday.
Bautista revealed that the Comelec bested other electoral bodies around the world, including Elections Canada, the Central Election Commission of Palestine, and the Election Commission of Georgia, for the Election Commission Award.
For the Election Management Award, the Philippines beat Mexico and South Africa, among other countries.
Good election practices
The Philippine poll body was chosen as the Election Commission of the Year “based on a track record that demonstrates efforts on fostering a community of good citizens among election practitioners, best practice, evidence-based research and policy in the field of elections.”
The Election Management Award was given to the Comelec for surpassing “country-specific challenges to guarantee a secure, transparent and smooth running of elections.”
The Comelec also won two other minor awards from the ICPS.
The Accessibility Award was given to the poll body for including in the electoral process groups that have been excluded due to physical, social, cultural or geographical impediments, such as indigenous peoples, persons with disability and senior citizens.
The Minority Participation Award was given for its efforts in strengthening minorities’ rights in actively participating in the democratic process by ensuring that they can register and cast their vote.
The 2016 national elections registered the highest voter turnout in the history of Philippine automated polls at 81.95 percent, with the fastest transmission rate so far at 96.14 percent.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.