25 foreign observers coming for Philippine polls

By Tina G. Santos | Source: ANN

At least 25 observers from different countries will monitor several aspects of the May 13 elections.

The group Compact for Peaceful and Democratic Elections said that 25 observers had confirmed they were joining the International Observers Mission 2013.

The observers will come from the United States, Germany, Sweden, Spain, Thailand, Burma (Myanmar), Australia and Uganda and are expected to stay in the Philippines for five days.

Mon Casiple of the Institute of Political and Electoral Reform (IPER), one of the convenors of Compact, said observers from other countries had yet to confirm their participation.

Casiple said the observers would submit a report to the Commission on Elections (Comelec) detailing their findings. The report would be made public after the elections, he said.

He said Compact would focus on the operations of the Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines and efforts to put in place mechanisms to reduce human error, make public the voter lists, institute measures to prevent vote buying and vote denial, and create regional level joint national police and armed forces task forces to reduce election violence.

The international observers, aided by local guides, will be deployed to selected “election hot spots.”

“These international observers will be deployed to certain areas based on their election monitoring experiences, expertise and interest,” Compact said in a statement.

Target areas for deployment beginning May 10 include Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Manila, Camarines Sur, Masbate, Samar, Dinagat Islands and the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

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