2022 Philippine National and Local Elections: A Vibrant Democracy amid Systemic Challenges

The 2022 national and local elections in the Philippines were credible and genuine despite several lingering issues and challenges, said the Asian Network for Free Elections (ANFREL) in the final comprehensive report of their international election observation mission to the Philippine elections. 

ANFREL congratulated the electoral stakeholders in the country for the conduct of the elections that saw high levels of interest and participation of the electorate and the hard work and dedication of the polling staff.

ANFREL deployed 15 international election observers from 11 countries who interviewed hundreds of electoral stakeholders including candidates, voters, election officials, members of civil society and the media across 14 regions of the country. They observed the electoral process in 197 clustered precincts on Election Day. Voting in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Bangkok, Thailand, and Taipei, Taiwan were also observed.

ANFREL said that the Election Day on 9 May 2022 was largely peaceful, orderly and safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The electoral process was also technically sound despite a number of shortcomings. Hundreds of vote counting machines and related SD cards failed which highlighted the poor contingency planning and communication of the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) where up to a million voters had to either wait for extensive hours to vote or were likely disenfranchised altogether. The secrecy folders were also insufficient to secure the privacy of voters in casting their ballots.

The issues that ANFREL noted requiring immediate attention are:

• Prevalence of vote buying;
• Abuse of state resources for campaign purposes;
• Campaign finance reform;
• Rule of political dynasties;
• Declining state of press freedom and free expression;
• Widespread disinformation.

This was ANFREL’s fourth election observation mission in the Philippines. ANFREL's election observation efforts follow a methodology based on international standards for free and fair elections, as well as instruments such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Bangkok Declaration for Free and Fair Elections, and the Dili Indicators of Democratic Elections. ANFREL is a signatory to the International Principles for International Election Observation, and has observed over 70 elections across Asia since 1997.

Download the full report here: "2022 Philippine National and Local Elections: A Vibrant Democracy amid Systemic Challenges"

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