Difficulties With Elections
In many countries with weak rule of law, the most common reason why elections do not meet international standards of being "free and fair" is interference from the incumbent government. Dictators may use the powers of the executive (police, martial law, censorship, physical implementation of the election mechanism, etc.) to remain in power despite popular opinion in favor of removal. Members of a particular faction in a legislature may use the power of the majority or supermajority (passing criminal laws, defining the electoral mechanisms including eligibility and district boundaries) to prevent the balance of power in the body from shifting to a rival faction due to an election. Non-governmental entities can also interfere with elections, through physical force, verbal intimidation, or fraud which results in improper casting or counting of votes. Monitoring for and minimizing electoral fraud is also an ongoing task in countries with strong traditions of free and fair elections. Problems which prevent an election from being "free and fair" can occur at several different stages:
- Lack of open political debate or an informed electorate. The electorate may be poorly informed about issues or candidates due to lack of freedom of the press, lack of objectivity in the press due to state control, or lack of access to news and political media. Freedom of speech may be curtailed by the state, favoring certain viewpoints or state propaganda.
- Unfair rules. Gerrymandering, exclusion of opposition candidates from eligibility for office, and manipulating thresholds for electoral success are among some of the ways that the structure of an election can be changed to favor a specific faction or candidate.
- Interference with campaigns. Arresting or assassinating candidates for office, suppressing campaign actions (speeches, posters, broadcast advertisements), closing campaign headquarters, criminalizing campaigning, harassing or beating campaign workers. Intimidating voters with threats of or actual violence.
- Tampering with the election mechanism. Confusing or misleading voters about how to vote, violation of the secret ballot, ballot stuffing, tampering with voting machines, destruction of legitimately cast ballots, voter suppression, fraudulent tabulation of results, and use of physical force or verbal intimation at polling places.
Read more about this topic: Election Process In The Philippines
Other articles related to "difficulties with elections, elections, election":
... In many countries with weak rule of law, the most common reason why elections do not meet international standards of being "free and fair" is interference from the incumbent government ... powers of the executive (police, martial law, censorship, physical implementation of the election mechanism, etc.) to remain in power despite ... the balance of power in the body from shifting to a rival faction due to an election ...
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