Thursday, April 5, 2007

On the Role of Citizens Group in the 2007 Elections

Now, it is final: COMELEC has given mandates to PPCRV and NAMFREL to act as citizens group in the 2007 elections.

PPCRV handles voter education and pollwatching. NAMFREL on the other hand will handle the quick count component.

With these developments, people may easily fall into the mindset that it will be "business as usual" come May 14. Unfortunately, this is not the case.

An exteremely heavy burden has been put on the shoulder of these citizens group: they have to watch closely and witness for the people whether the election will be credible and acceptable! And this is not a simple task given the complexity of our antiquated electoral system and the power and resources of the various contenders in this elections.

Thus, there is a dual need for NAMFREL and PPCRV to stand watch over the process while at the same time ensuring that their credibility remains intact. They are also supposed to be more aggressive this time, given their experiences in previous elections and the taking into consideration also the implications of the 2007 elections to the future of this country.

Thus, the fundamental questions: how they set up their operating structures and how will they combat cheating and violations of election laws, should be a central preoccupation of these citizens group.

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