Sunday, May 5, 2013

International Observers Monitor GE13 In Federal Capital

A total of 18 international observers, invited by the Election Commission (EC) to witness the 13th General Election (GE13) in process, began monitoring at several polling centres since early this morning.

Twelve members of the group, comprising three from Cambodia and nine from Thailand, were accompanied by EC secretary Datuk Kamaruddin Mohamed Baria to monitor the balloting process at several polling centres in Kuala Lumpur.

In the afternoon, they will be taken to the vote-counting centre in Putrajaya.

The group, when met at the Gombak parliamentary polling centre in Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Seri Gombak, described the GE13 proceeding as cordial and transparent.

Election Committee of Thailand chairman Apichart Sukhagganound said the move to introduce indelible ink by EC in GE13 was the best measure to ensure transparency in the balloting process.

"We don't have this in Thailand. I think it is a very good method," he said as he tried using the indelible ink.

Meanwhile, Cambodian National Election Committee deputy director Dr Sin Chum Bo praised the well-organised proceeding at the Gombak parliamentary polling centre.

"Outside, you have stations where people check their names to know where their polling station is. Inside, everything is very well-organised, people know what to do and you have very nice facilities for old people to allow them to exercise their right to vote," she noted.

Thai Election Committee Commissioner Wisuth Pothiteon is overwhelmed by Malaysians taking an active role in GE13.

"Voters here are very active, I can see long queues and people are very energetic to vote. It is a nice environment," he commented.

Kamaruddin, when met by Bernama, said the presence of international observers indicated EC's transparency in managing the election, adding that it was not afraid of facing any form of monitoring such as this.

The international observers are expected to visit two more polling centres in Titiwangsa and Setiawangsa, before going to Putrajaya to witness the counting of votes this evening.

Apart from Cambodia and Thailand, another group comprising observers from Indonesia, Myanmar and two Asean secretariat representatives are also monitoring the polls.

The EC also appointed 1,200 local observers from 17 non-governmental organisations for GE13 to ensure the integrity of the GE13 process.

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