Harassment of women in politics on the rise

Election monitors and activists express concern that digital harassment of female politicians will increase when the local council elections campaign gets into full swing in the coming weeks. According to the preliminary results of a survey conducted by the Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE), more than 70 percent of female

Registered, Not Represented: The Fate Of Pakistan’s Non-Muslim Voters

The current electoral system and the incentive structures it creates effectively disenfranchise Pakistan's non-Muslim voters As Pakistan gears up for general elections this year, the country’s religious minorities appear dejected over their parliamentary representation. Beset by a spate of issues ranging from underemployment, a dwindling population and undercounting to victimization at the

2023 Elections: Policy Advocacy for LGBTQIA+, Women, and Children or Just an Election-Campaign Scheme?

Story by Attachai Had-anCover illustration by Kittiya On-in In preparation for the upcoming election on May 7, 2023, “The Opener” has studied the spread of misinformation and how it might impair the quest for a free and fair election in Thailand. Lessons from the 2019 election campaign until now indicate that while

CMEV condemns ‘undemocratic’, ‘violent actions’; expresses concern over efforts to postpone local polls

The Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) learnt that it is alleged that two members of the Election Commission, Mr. K.P.P. Pathirana and Mr. S.B. Divaratna were threatened with death if they did not resign from the Commission, last evening via WhatsApp. CMEV vehemently condemns such undemocratic and violent actions and calls

MARUAH celebrates 15th anniversary, NEOC chairperson recognized for human rights work

ANFREL member in Singapore, MARUAH, celebrated their 15th year anniversary while the chairperson of Nepal member National Election Observation Committee (NEOC) received the Human Rights Award. MARUAH, whose work seeks to uphold human rights through research, advocacy, and public education, celebrated their 15th year anniversary this year. Through partnerships with various regional

Church-based group says 2022 Timor-Leste Presidential Election ‘free, transparent, fair and reliable’

The 2022 Timor-Leste Presidential Election was "free, transparent, fair and reliable observing international standards of election", said the Observatory of the Church for Social Affairs (OIPAS) in final report of their election observation effort. OIPAS, under the National Commission of Justice, Peace, and Integrity Criation (JPIC-TL), observed the presidential election (19 March

Odhikar publishes Bangladesh 2Q 2022 human rights report

ANFREL member in Bangladesh, Odhikar, published the findings of their monitoring of the human rights situation in the country during the second quarter of 2022. From April to June 2022, Odhikar recorded five cases of extrajudicial killings, five cases of enforced disappearances, 19 deaths in jails, among many other human rights violations

Myanmar Situation Update (27 June -3 July 2022)

A junta court in Mandalay sentenced an elected lawmaker to three years in prison for incitement due to her alleged involvement in organizing anti-regime protests and encouraging government employees to join the civil disobedience movement. Win Mya Mya ran under the National League of Democracy (NLD) during the 2020 general election and

ANFREL Newsletter (April-June 2022)

In the second quarter of 2022, the Asian Network for Free Elections (ANFREL) observed elections in Timor-Leste and the Philippines, released reports on elections in Hong Kong and Cambodia, and continue to shed light on the situation in highly restrictive and repressive countries in Asia. ANFREL released the final comprehensive report about

PK-7 Swat-VI By-Election: Low Female Turnout, Vote Secrecy Issues Persist — FAFEN

Islamabad, June 29, 2022: Abysmally low female turnout and inadequate arrangements to protect secrecy of vote coupled with widespread instances of campaigning and canvassing on Election Day remain major issues clouding the by-election in PK-7 Swat-VI that was otherwise peaceful with generally compliant voting and counting processes, observes Free and Fair Election

Press Statement: Transparency Maldives condemns draft bill encroaching on freedom of expression

Transparency Maldives condemns the draft amendment bill to the Penal Code Act (9/2014) proposed by the Government that encroaches on freedom of expression. This bill is yet another step backwards by the Government, undermining democratic consolidation and fundamental human rights in the Maldives. While we are deeply concerned by the increasing intolerance,

2022 Timor-Leste Presidential Election: A Celebration of Democracy amid COVID-19

The 2022 Timor-Leste Presidential Election demonstrated how democracy is celebrated and strong in the country, said the Asian Network for Free Elections (ANFREL) in the final comprehensive report on its observation of the election. ANFREL released the report on Tuesday, 28 June 2022, and thanked the electoral stakeholders for their commitment to

Myanmar Situation Update (20-26 June 2022)

Ousted President U Win Myint, ousted State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and former Union Minister U Min Thu pleaded not guilty to the charge under Section 130(a) of Myanmar’s penal code for allegedly influencing the Union Election Commission (UEC) in connection with the November 2022 general election. A crime management meeting

Protest Is Not Only A Fundamental Constitutional Right But An Integral Part Of Our History — BERSIH

The Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (BERSIH) reiterates that peaceful assembly is a fundamental right of all citizens guaranteed under Article 10 of the Federal Constitution, along with the right to freedom of speech, expression and to form associations. Furthermore, the freedom to protest without violence is enshrined in our supreme

NA-240 Karachi By-Election: Violence, Abysmal Turnout Overshadow Generally-Compliant Voting, Counting Processes — FAFEN

ISLAMABAD, June 20, 2022: Election on a working day deterred a majority of voters from casting their ballots in NA-240 (Korangi Karachi-II) by-polls that largely remained orderly, but was overshadowed by two high-profile incidents of violence widely covered on national media, reports Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN). According to FAFEN observers,

Myanmar Situation Update (13-19 June 2022)

A junta-controlled court sentenced former Mandalay Region Chief Minister Dr. Zaw Myint Maung, second vice president and spokesperson of National League for Democracy (NLD), to 21 years in prison for five corruption charges. The ASEAN Special Envoy will not be allowed to meet with Aung San Suu Kyi on his second visit

Joint Statement: International Democracy Advocates Denounce Odhikar’s De-registration in Bangladesh

We, the undersigned international democracy advocates, strongly denounce the Government of Bangladesh’s decision to deregister prominent human rights NGO Odhikar and express our unwavering solidarity with the group. In early June 2022, Bangladesh’s NGO Affairs Bureau under the purview of the Prime Minister’s Office denied the group’s application for renewal of registration.

Myanmar Situation Update (6-12 June 2022)

A junta court in Myanmar ruled that prosecutors presented sufficient evidence against ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi, Australian economist Sean Turnell and three former cabinet members to continue the trial on charges of violating the Official Secrets Law. In the coming weeks, the court will hear the defense arguments, including a

Myanmar Situation Update (2-29 May 2022)

Myanmar junta filed two more corruption charges against detained State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi while the junta court rejected her appeal against a five-year sentence for corruption handed down in April. The Myanmar military regime so far has filed 20 charges against Aung San Suu Kyi, including 13 corruption charges that

Nepal local polls largely peaceful, successful — GEOC

The local level election held today has been completed largely peacefully and successfully apart from few sporadic incidents. There was encouraging participation by people with disability, senior citizens and members of all community, and gender. Compared to the past, the parties, candidates and voters all were more patient and peaceful. Except in

Joint Letter to President Biden Re: Thailand’s Abusive Draft Law on Not-For-Profit Organizations

May 12, 2022 President Joseph R. Biden, Jr.The White HouseWashington, DC Re: Thailand’s abusive draft law on not-for-profit organizations Dear President Biden, We, the undersigned non-profit organizations, are writing to express our serious concerns regarding Thailand’s Draft Act on the Operations of Not-for-Profit Organizations, which the Thai Cabinet approved in principle on

ANFREL Interim Statement: 2022 Philippine National and Local Elections

The Asian Network for Free Elections (ANFREL) congratulates the people of the Philippines for their mass participation in the 2022 National and Local Elections, domestic election observer groups including PPCRV, LENTE, and NAMFREL, media and civil society organizations for their contributions to an inclusive and transparent election landscape, as well as the

NAMFREL Statement on Restrictions to the Public on Observing Closing of Voting and Taking Pictures of the Posted Election Returns

NAMFREL raises concern on reports it received stating that the public has been barred from entering voting centers to observe the closing of voting, and to take pictures of the posted Election Returns, which contain the results of the election for every polling place in the voting center. In addition, some NAMFREL

Developments in Focused Monitoring Efforts of LENTE for Vulnerable Sectors and the BARMM

The Legal Network for Truthful Elections (LENTE) continues to observe election day processes, with particular focus on the voting process of Vulnerable Sectors (Persons with Disability, Senior Citizens/Older Persons, Persons Deprived of Liberty/Detainees, and Indigenous Peoples) and the voting situation in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM). LENTE also continue

NAMFREL releases preliminary observations on the 2022 National and Local Elections

The National Citizens' Movement for Free Elections (NAMFREL) released its preliminary observations on the conduct of the 2022 National and Local Elections, as observed by its volunteers who are currently onsite in different voting centers across the country. NAMFREL has tens of thousands of volunteers observing in voting centers nationwide for today's

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