ASEAN bolsters regional election observation hinh anh 1Participants at the seminar pose for photo (Photo: VNA)

A seminar on reviewing the observation of elections in ASEAN countries was held at the ASEAN Secretariat’s headquarters in Jakarta, Indonesia on October 19.

Co-sponsored by the governments of the Philippines and the Republic of Korea along with the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA), the initiative aimed to bolster mutual understanding on regional countries’ political systems, cultures and history, as well as to strengthen democratic principles in the block.

Reports and recommendations at the event highlighted strategies to reinforce democracy and improve the inclusiveness of national elections, while pointing to the need of coordination between governments and social organisations to benefit the public.

Delegates also put emphasis on the effective implementation of the principles and the democratic and rule-of-law process as stipulated in the ASEAN Charter for a peaceful, stable community of mutual development. They said professionalism, fairness and transparency in line with international standards and treaties must be ensured throughout the entire election process.

Member of the Global Commission on Elections Democracy and Security Nur Hasan Wirajuda considered the event a timely step as the ASEAN Community will be officially formed by the end of this year.

It is also the start of efforts to build an ASEAN Election Observation model that comes with necessary mechanisms to ensure the professionalism, fairness and transparency of elections in the ASEAN, Wirajuda said, adding that most ASEAN States recognise the value of election observation and monitoring in ensuring elections’ inclusiveness as well as in promoting democracy.-VNA