Malaysiakini News

Why M’sia needs credible int’l election observers

Geraldine Tong and Andrew Ong  |  Published:  |  Modified:

INTERVIEW | For many developing countries, inviting credible international groups to scrutinise their elections is a norm because it encourages transparency and lends legitimacy to the electoral process.

Notable international monitoring groups which operate in Asia include the European Parliament, the National Democratic Institute and the Asian Network for Free and Fair Elections (Anfrel).

Such groups would normally publish their list of observers, address the press, engage stakeholders and publish a final report which would include their assessment and recommendations.

The objective will normally entail examining if the elections process was up to international standards, and if not, how things could be improved.

Unlike most countries in the Asean region, Malaysia has never had any such bodies monitoring its elections.

The closest the Election Commission (EC) has come was to invite 18 individuals from the region for a monitoring mission during the general elections in 2013.

The group comprised of six individuals each from Indonesia and Thailand, two each from Myanmar and Cambodia, and the Asean secretariat.

However, they had no access to the media and their recommendations were never made public...

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