- National Citizens' Movement for Free Elections
National Citizens' Movement for Free Elections (NAMFREL) Type Non-profit
Founded 1983 Location Philippines Key people Jose Cuisia Jr.
Services Democracy reform in the Philippines Method Media attention, advocacy, research, activism Motto It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness. Website http://www.namfrel.com.ph/
The National Citizens' Movement for Free Elections or NAMFREL is an election watchdog in the Philippines. It was founded by Jose S. Concepcion, Jr. NAMFREL was formally organized in October 1983 as an offshoot of the New Voters Registration Committee, which was formed in the 1960s. It currently has the support of more than 140 benefactors and 125 organizations. Its current chairperson is Jose L. Cuisia, Jr. Former acting Namfrel Chairman Vicente Jayme is the senior adviser of the national council.
NAMFREL's goal is to ensure "free, orderly and honest elections" in the Philippines. It is a non-partisan organization with over 250,000 member-volunteers from different religious, civic, business, professional, labor, youth, educational, and non-government organizations.
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has accredited NAMFREL as its "citizens' arm" since 1986 to conduct manual parallel counts, which it called "Operation Quick Count." In 1986, NAMFREL mobilized 500,000 volunteers nationwide to guard the snap presidential elections. President Ferdinand Marcos declared himself the winner of the election; the NAMFREL count, however, showed that Corazon Aquino won. In the days that followed, the EDSA People Power revolt took place, sweeping Aquino to power.
For the May 2010 automated Philippine presidential elections NAMFREL was not accredited to conduct its own count. Instead, the organization conducted a nationwide election observation mission called "Bantay ng Bayan" ("sentinels of the people").
Presently, NAMFREL is also active internationally, its officers and volunteers having worked as trainers, observer team members, election administrators and resource persons in 31 countries, with Cambodia as its first test in the 1998 parliamentary elections there.
- Philippine electoral crisis, 2005
- Official NAMFREL Website
- An excerpt from Bantay Ng Bayan (Sentinels of the People) Stories of the NAMFREL crusade 1984-1986, by Kaa Byington
- PCIJ profile of Jose S. Concepcion, Jr.
Bilateral OrganizationsAssociation of Central and Eastern European Election Officials · Elections Reform Support Group (Palestine) · Election Support Group (Pakistan) · International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance · United Nations Development Programme Governmental Organizations Country focused NGOsBersih (Malaysia) · Caucasus Institute for Peace, Democracy and Development (Georgia) · Citizens' Group on Electoral Process (Pakistan) · Coalition for Free and Open Elections (USA) · Electoral Reform Society (UK) · Institute for Election Systems Development (Russia) · International Endowment for Democracy (USA) · Fair Vote Canada (Canada) · FairVote (USA) · Israel Democracy Institute · National Citizens' Movement for Free Elections (Philippines) · Singaporeans for Democracy (Singapore) · Unlock Democracy (UK) International Advocacy GroupsDemocracy Promoters' Network · Project on Middle East Democracy
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