By Leslie Ann Aquino
The National Citizens Movement for Free Elections (NAMFREL) believes the “none of the above” option should be included in the ballot form.
The poll watchdog group said voters should be provided this option for each elective position for when they believe that none of the candidates is deserving of their vote.
“If this option wins, another election should be called,” said Namfrel in their inputs on electoral reforms amid the move to amend the charter and shift to federalism.
The group also recommended requiring unopposed candidates to garner at least 50 percent of the votes.
It said any unopposed candidate for president, representative of congress, governor, vice governor, mayor and vice mayor would have to hurdle this threshold in order to be proclaimed winner.
To minimize having unopposed bets, the organization believes all political parties must be required to field contestants in all elective posts in the jurisdiction within which they are registered.
Namfrel also recommended requiring the state through the Comission on Elections to lower the cost of candidacy so as to encourage wider participation among groups and individuals.
The group also pushed the introduction of a “run-off” polls for the presidential elections which means if none of the presidential candidates wins a majority of votes cast for the position, the first and second vote-getters would go into a run-off election.
“This would ensure that any president would always have the majority of voters behind him/her, and his/her administration,” said Namfrel.
The new Constitution, the poll watchdog group said, should also discourage holding of simultaneous elections in the country.
“This does not really encourage informed and critical choice on the part of the voters and a competitive environment on the part of the contestants,” Namfrel said.
Namfrel sent their inputs to the President, Senate president, speaker of the House of Representatives and to the chair of the Constitutional Committee.