Credible elections can be achieved if there is transparency — Guevarra

Published August 21, 2018, 5:15 PM

by Francine Ciasico

By Leslie Ann Aquino

Saying the country can ill afford to go back to how things were, election watchdog Democracy Watch is one with President Duterte’s goal of having a “clean and orderly” polls.

Ballot boxes and other election paraphernalia are prepared for distribution yesterday to the 80 barangays in Cebu City ahead of the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections tomorrow. (Juan Carlo de Vela)
Ballot boxes (Juan Carlo de Vela / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

And Democracy Watch secretary general Claudette Guevara said credible elections can only be achieved if there is “transparency.”

“Transparency is a key principle in ensuring credible elections as it helps establish trust and confidence in the process by guaranteeing that the results reflect the true will of the people,” she said in a statement.

The group cited the great strides introduced by the switch to the Automated Election System in the past three elections.

“On May 2016, the world saw more than 44-million Filipinos troop to their respective polling precincts and made their voices heard through a process that has long been a cornerstone of our democracy. The faster conduct resulted in less instability and greater confidence in the process,” Guevara said.

Democracy Watch said the 2016 elections was widely believed to be the most credible in recent memory.

This view, they said was attested by nationwide opinion polls and accounts of foreign observers.

“In a Pulse Asia survey conducted after the polls, more than 90 percent of respondents believed that the conduct of the exercise was fast, orderly, and peaceful,” said the group.

“By election night, some 86 percent of all votes had transmitted, something that was unheard of in the history of Philippine elections long marred by cheating and sluggishness,” Democracy Watch said.

That’s why, Guevarra said an election that is hailed as one of the most successful and credible in history should be above “senseless politicking.”

Last week, President Duterte assured the public that the May 2019 midterm elections would be clean and orderly.