NAMFREL stalwart Christian Monsod to receive international award for electoral reforms in the Philippines

from NAMFREL Election Monitor Vol.2, No.27
Former Comelec Chairman and NAMFREL pioneer Christian Monsod is this year's recipient of the Joe C. Baxter award. The award, given by the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), is presented annually to a professional committed to the principles of ownership, transparency and sustainability of electoral administration. According to IFES, Mr. Monsod throughout his career has built a track record upholding rule of law and claiming social justice for the Philippine's marginalized sectors.

Mr. Monsod was former Secretary General (1986) and National Chairman (1987) of NAMFREL. In 1991, he was appointed Chairman of the Commission on Elections, a position he held until 1995. Under his tenure, the Comelec began its efforts to modernize Philippine elections through Operation MODEX (Modernization and Excellence), the components of which included the computerization of voters lists, as well as other initiatives to make the Philippine electoral system more transparent, efficient, and inclusive. Mr. Monsod is currently the honorary chairman of the Legal Network for Truthful Elections (LENTE), the first nationwide network of lawyers, law students, paralegals and other trained volunteers set up by various non-partisan groups engaged in election monitoring work, and Vice Co-Chairman of the Bishops-Businessmen's Conference (BBC).

"This year's Baxter Award is of special significance as IFES celebrates 25 years of success and recognizes Monsod's lifetime achievements in the field of election administration,” said IFES President and CEO Bill Sweeney. “We couldn't be honoring a more fitting and deserving individual who fully epitomizes our mission of democracy building and passionate dedication to giving a voice to the underrepresented in the way they are governed."

In response to the award, Monsod said in a statement: "I am deeply honored at being the 2012 recipient of the Joe C. Baxter Award of the International Foundation for Electoral Systems. I consider it an affirmation by an acknowledged international expert institution of the pioneering efforts taken by the Philippines to modernize its election system. We look forward to a continuing association with IFES in the ongoing reforms to further strengthen and broaden the choices of the voters by addressing such problems as dysfunctional political parties, the improper use of money including government resources, and of warlordism and political dynasties in a number of constituencies."

The awarding ceremony will be held on November 5 at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Washington, D.C.

The National Citizens' Movement for Free Elections proudly congratulates Mr. Monsod for this award.

(Source: IFES)