The government of the United Kingdom is sending a group of observers to the upcoming national elections in the Philippines scheduled for May 19, 2010.
This year's Philippine elections will be the first automated electoral exercise in the country. United Kingdom's ambassador to the Philippines Stephen Lillie said his government is yet to determine the composition of their delegation.
"There is a provision on the Commission on Elections law for foreign observers to observe elections and yes, the UK intends to take advantage of that law and we will submit applications for observers," Lillie said.
Past Philippine elections have always been characterized by fraud and violence as some candidates took advantage of loose election rules that are susceptible to cheating especially in the counting of votes as they are tallied manually.
As the country's first automated elections draw near, thousands of aspirants seeking national and local positions have started campaigning in their respective electoral districts throughout the country.
Even before the official start of the election campaign as provided for by the revised election law of the country, around 60 people including at least 25 journalists have been ambushed and murdered while on their way to witness the filing of candidacy of one of the candidates for Governor in the province of Maguindanao in southern Philippines.
At least 50 million voters are expected to participate in the May 10 national elections to elect around 17,000 local government posts on top of the election to the position of President, Vice-President, Senators and congressmen.
With the new automated elections, winners will be known in a matter of hours instead of days or months when vote counting was done manually.
(original article appeared @ Digital Journal )