MEETINGS & EVENT

The 2008 General Assembly & The Tenth Anniversary of the Association of Asian Election Authorities (AAEA)

 

The 2008 General Assembly & The Tenth Anniversary of the Association of Asian Election Authorities (AAEA)

21-25 July 2008  Taipei, Taiwan

MESSAGES FROM THE IFES

ASSEMBLY LOCATION

ATTENDANCE

OPENING CEREMONY

 

Welcome Remarks by Mr. Masa J.S. Chang, Chairman, Central Election Commission of Taiwan, <click to download the full text of the speech>

 

Opening Address by H. E. Vincent C. Siew, Vice President of the Republic of China (Taiwan)<click to download the full text of the speech>

 

Remarks by Guest of Honor: Mr. Wang Jin-Pyng, Chairman of Taiwan Foundation for Democracy (TFD) and Speaker of the Legislative Yuan of Taiwan, R.O.C. <click to download the full text of the speech>

 

Remarks by Guest of Honor: Mrs. Beverly Hagerdon Thakur, IFES Acting Representative <click to download the full text of the speech>

 

Remarks by Guest of Honor: Mrs. Teresita Dy-Liacco Flores, Former AAEA Executive Secretary <click to download the full text of the speech>

 

SEMINAR

Keynote Speech by Mr. Robert Dahl, IFES Legal Policy Advisor,   <click to download the report>

Reports by Member States :

 

BUSINESS MEETING   <Click to download the meeting minutes>

I. RATIFICATION OF MEMBERSHIP

II.SECRETARIAT REPORT

III. BUSINESS

IV. MOTION

ELECTION OF NEW AAEA CHAIRMAN  AND EXECUTIVE BOARD MEMBERS 

Messages from the IFES

The Association of Asian Election Authorities (AAEA) was originally founded by seven independent election authorities in 1998 with IFES providing tremendous assistance in setting up the association뭩 foundations. IFES was instrumental in the drafting process of the association's charter in 1997 and it later provided invaluable service by serving as the Interim Secretariat of the association during its early years.  With IFES뭩 helping hand, AAEA was able to set foot on firm grounds and mature.

Delighted that AAEA has such a tremendous milestone of celebrating its tenth anniversary, Chairman Masa Chang of the AAEA extended a most gracious invitation to IFES President Mr. Jean-Pierre Kingsley to join the Assembly. Though Mr. Kingsley was unable to attend due to scheduling conflicts, he assigned Mr. Robert Dahl to attend as keynote speaker, and Chief of Party for IFES Philippines, Mrs. Beverly Hagerdon Thakur, as the acting IFES representative.  He also congratulated the association on the occasion of AAEA's tenth anniversary. The following downloadable document is the letter sent to AAEA from IFES President Mr. Jean-Pierre Kingsley.

Letter from the IFES President Mr. Jean-Pierre Kingsley

 

 

ASSEMBLY LOCATION


    The 2007 Executive Board Meeting has decided Taiwan, R.O.C.  will be the host country of the 2008 AAEA General Assembly.   The AAEA Secretariat has arranged for the Assembly to be held from the 21st to the 25th of July, 2008 in Taipei, the capital of Taiwan. The Assembly was called to order by Chairman Chang from 21-25 July 2008 at the Grand Formosa Regent Hotel in Taipei, Taiwan.   It has tapped the cooperation and collaboration of the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy as a core sponsor of the 2008 General Assembly.

Opening ceremony of the 2008 AAEA General Assembly

 

 

ATTENDANCE


In attendance were the officials of the AAEA Member Election Bodies of Afghanistan, Bhutan, India, Indonesia,  Papua New Genuine, the Republic of Korea, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan and Taiwan.  Seven member-EMBs (Election Management Bodies) could not make it to the Conference for various reasons. 

Of the twelve  member EMBs that sent participants, five sent their respective Chairmen, who presented their reports on the topic for discussion.

They were:

Dr. Azizullah Lodin, Chairman of the Independent Election Commission of Afghanistan,

 

Dr. H.A. Hafiz Anshary, Chairman of the Indonesian Election Commission,

 

Mr. Andrew S. Trawen, Commissioner of  the Papua New Guinea Electoral Commission,

 

Mr. Dayananda Dissayanake,  Commissioner of the Department of Elections of Sri Lanka, and 

 

Mr. Masa Chang, Chairman of Central Election Commission of Taiwan.

Of the invited observers that were non-members and an international organization, the three that participated were:

The Election Commission of Thailand,

The Election Commission of Malaysia, and

the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES).

Mrs. Beverly Hagerdon Thakur, IFES Acting Representative,  spoke on behalf of IFES at the opening ceremony and Mr. Robert Dahl, IFES legal advisor, was invited as  a keynote speaker for the seminar session of the assembly.    

Dr. Suthiphon Thaveechaiyagarn, Secretary General of the Election Commission of Thailand, Datuk Haji Kamaruzaman Bin Haji Mohd Noor, Secretary of the Election Commission of Malaysia presented their report on the activities and goals of their Commissions. 

The assembly attendees were grateful for their contribution, and were impressed with the approaches that they used to achieve free, honest and orderly elections.

 

OPENING CEREMONY 


 

 

  The General Assembly commenced with a formal Opening Ceremony attended by the Assembly delegates, a number of invited guests, and the Taiwanese media.

 Mr. Dayananda Dissanayake

the Commissioner of Department of Elections of Sri Lanka

 

The Honorable Dayananda Dissanayake, the commissioner of the Department of Elections of Sri Lanka and member of the AAEA executive board introduced each delegation.   

Present were the delegates from the Election Management Bodies of : (in alphabetical order by country)

Independent Election Commission, Afghanistan;

The Election Commission of Bhutan;

The Election Commission of India;

Indonesian Election Commission;

The National Election Commission, Republic of Korea;

Papua New Guinea Electoral Commission;

Commission on Elections, Philippines;

The Department of Elections, Sri Lanka;

The Central Election Commission, Taiwan, R.O.C. and

The Central Election and Referenda Commission, Tajikistan

Present as observers were the delegations from:

The Election Commission of Malaysia

The Election Commission of Thailand and

International Foundation for Democracy (IFES)

 

Mr. Masa J.S. Chang

Chairman, Central Election Commission of Taiwan 

<click to download the full text>

After the introduction of the participating delegations, AAEA Chairman Masa J.S. Chang, who is also Chairman of the Central Election Commission of Taiwan, delivered a welcome remarks speech.   

H. E. Vincent C. Siew, Vice President of the Republic of China (Taiwan).

<click to download the full text of the speech>

 

The welcome remarks of Chairman Masa J.S. Chang was followed by a welcome message from H. E. Vincent C. Siew, Vice President of the Republic of China (Taiwan).

Mr. Wang Jin-Pyng, Chairman of Taiwan Foundation for Democracy (TFD)

and Speaker of the Legislative Yuan of the Republic of China (Taiwan).

<click to download the full text of the speech>

Guest of Honor, Mr. Wang Jin-Pyng, Chairman of the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy (TFD) and Speaker of the Legislative Yuan of the Republic of China (Taiwan). also arrived and delivered Remarks to the audiences.

Mrs. Beverly Hagerdon Thakur, IFES Acting Representative

<click to download the full text of the speech>

Guest of Honor, Mrs. Beverly Hagerdon Thakur, IFES Acting Representative and Mrs. Teresita Dy-Liacco Flores, Former AAEA Executive Secretary and AAEA Senior Consultant  delivered introductory remarks at the opening ceremony.

Mrs. Teresita Dy-Liacco Flores, Former AAEA Executive Secretary and

the AAEA Senior Consultant

<click to download the full text of the speech> 


 

 

 

SEMINAR


The topic of discussion is on the Legal Solution to Disputes of Election Results.  The topic and country reports were intended to enable election authorities to review their election procedures and operations so that effort could be made in areas with room for improvement.

 


Mr. Robert Dahl, IFES Legal Policy Advisor,

Mr. Robert Dahl, IFES Legal Policy Advisor, was invited to deliver a keynote speech on the topic " Electoral Complaint Adjudication and Dispute Resolution: Key Issues and Guiding Principles." <click to download the report>  The insights he brought to the conference was an invaluable contribution.

 

Although the EMBs of Nepal and  Kyrgyzstan didn't  send  representatives, they sent their country reports to the Conference and are included in the following complication, listed in alphabetical order by country:

Independent Election Commission, Afghanistan; <Click to download the report>

The Election Commission of Bhutan;<Click to download the report >

The Election Commission of Nepal;<Click to download the report >

The Election Commission of India;

Indonesian Election Commission; <Click to download the report>

The National Election Commission, Republic of Korea;<Click to download the report >

The Central Election Commission, Kyrgyzstan<Click to download the report >

Papua New Guinea Electoral Commission;<Click to download the report >

Commission on Elections, Philippines;<Click to download the report >

The Department of Elections, Sri Lanka;<Click to download the report >

The Central Election Commission, Taiwan, R.O.C. and<Click to download the report >

The Central Election and Referenda Commission, Tajikistan

Reports from observing delegations were made by:

The Election Commission of Malaysia

The Election Commission of Thailand

 

BUSINESS MEETING


The Business Meeting of the 2008 AAEA General Assembly was called to order by Chairman Chang on 23 July 2008. Chairman Chang promptly requested the Secretariat to make a report of the meeting for the Assembly.

I. RATIFICATION OF MEMBERSHIP

Before initiating the business agenda, Chairman Chang raised the issue of inducting three quasi-members of the AAEA into full members.

RATIFICATION OF MEMBERSHIP STATUS FOR THE INDEPENDENT ELECTION COMMISSION (IEC) OF AFGHANISTAN, THE ELECTION COMMISSION OF BHUTAN, AND THE NATIONAL ELECTION COMMISSION OF THE REPUBLIC OF KOREA.

 a)  WHEREAS, Article 2.2c of AAEA Charter stipulates 뱓hat individuals and organizations may apply for a category of membership to the Executive Board which will examine the application and make a recommendation to be circulated among members of the General Assembly. The General Assembly will vote to accept or reject the application?  

b) WHEREAS, on 22 June 2006, His Excellency Bismillah Bismil, former Chairman of the Independent Election Commission (IEC) of Afghanistan sent an official statement to the association to apply for AAEA membership.  His Excellency Kunzang Wangdi, Chief Election Commissioner of the Election Commission of Bhutan presented an application through an official statement on 19 July 2006. His Excellency, Mr. Koh Hyun Chul, Chairperson of the National Election Commission (NEC) of the Republic of Korea, similarly wrote an application through an official statement to the Association on 20 February 2007. 

c) WHEREAS, the Secretariat, as per AAEA Charter stipulations, submitted their application statements respectively to the executive board meetings in 2006 and in 2007. The Executive Board in its meetings in 2006 and 2007 approved unanimously a recommendation of acceptance on the membership applications of the three election authorities.

 d) WHEREAS, the Executive Board, during its meeting on 13-14 June 2007, resolved to authorize the Secretariat to inform all  fourteen (14) AAEA country members about the application for membership of the three (3) potential members of the AAEA and to cause the sending of the ballot paper to each country member. The ballot paper for admission for the three countries?membership applications were sent through email and the post. In the event more than eight countries respond with YES, the applicant will be defined as a quasi-member.  The modification of its membership to regular will be ratified in the 2008 General Assembly.

President Dr. Lodin of the IEC, Afghanistan

 e)  WHEREAS, as of 29 May 2008, nine out of fourteen current AAEA members have returned their ballot papers and voted to grant membership to the three new applicant election authorities: the Independent Election Commission of Afghanistan, the Election Commission of Bhutan, and the National Election Commission of the Republic of Korea.

Standing Commissioner Mr.Kim Ho Youl of the Republic of Korea

 f)  WHEREAS, based on the resolutions of the 2007 AAEA Executive Board Meeting, the three applicant election authorities have been granted quasi-membership in the AAEA.

Commissioner Pema of Bhutan

 g) WHEREAS, as per AAEA Charter stipulations, the full membership of applicant electoral authorities in the AAEA shall be ratified in the General Assembly. The Secretariat proposes the motion to ratify the membership status for the Independent Election Commission (IEC) of Afghanistan, the Election Commission of Bhutan, and the National Election Commission of the Republic of Korea.

      Discussion

Commissioner Dissanayake of  Sri Lanka and Commissioner Trawen of Papua New Guinea motions and seconds, respectively, for all three quasi-member states to be inducted as full members and this motion passes via unanimous applause.

      Resolution

Wherefore, be it resolved, as it is hereby resolved that the General Assembly ratifies the full membership in the AAEA of the election management bodies of Afghanistan, Bhutan, and the Republic of Korea, passed 23rd of July 2008 in Taipei, Taiwan.

II.SECRETARIAT REPORT

         1.Financial Report

The financial report of the AAEA is approved.

2.  AAEA Official Website

The AAEA뭩 official website has been online since January 2006. The secretariat has registered the domain name http://www.aaeasec.org  as the AAEA뭩 official website. The site contains information including the AAEA history, the Charter, the organizational structure, meetings and events, and news related to the association. General background and election calendar of member states are also provided online. General background and election calendar of member states are also provided online.

Resolution The report of the AAEA official website is approved.

3.  AAEA Executive Board Meetings

a.  2006 MEETING AT TAIPEI 

The 2006 Executive Board Meeting was held at Grand Hyatt Taipei from 26 to 29 September. A total of five (5) executive board member election authorities participated in the meeting. In addition to the CEC of Taiwan, the other participants were the Election Commission of India, the Indonesian Electoral Commission, Department of Elections of Sri Lanka and the Central Elections and Referendum Commission of Tajikistan. The AAEA membership applicant election authority, Independent Electoral Commission of Afghanistan was also invited to attend the event. 

b.  2007 MEETING AT JAKARTA

The 2007 AAEA Executive Board Meeting was held at Hotel Nikko, Jakarta from June 12 through 15, 2007.  With the exception of Tajikistan, four (4) executive board member election authorities namely (Taiwan, India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka), and the AAEA membership applicant election authority, the National Electoral Commission of Republic of Korea attended the event in Jakarta.   All delegates received the warmest hospitality and wonderful arrangements by the Indonesian Electoral Commission (KPU). Certainly, with the KPU's careful planning and attentive arrangements, the meeting was a success.

Resolution

The conduct of the AAEA executive board meetings in 2006 and 2007 is notified.

4.AAEA Election Observation Mission

a.   2005 SRI LANKA PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION

Sri Lanka conducted its fifth presidential election on November 17, 2005. AAEA was invited by Commissioner of Elections Dayananda Dissanayake to organize an election observation team. Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Mongolia, Papua New Guinea, Pakistan, the Philippines, Taiwan, and Tajikistan participated in the AAEA mission. On the last day of the election observation, the AAEA mission submitted a report to Commissioner of Elections Dissanayake.

b.2008 SRI LANKA PROVINCIAL COUNCIL ELECTION, EAST PROVINCE

AAEA was once again honorably invited by Commissioner of Elections Mr. Dissanayake of Sri Lanka to form a group of international observers to observe the provincial council election in the Eastern Province of the country. From 4 to 13May 2008, a total of seventeen observers from ten countries, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Indonesia, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Taiwan and Tajikistan joined the AAEA mission.  The mission created three groups of observers to cover the districts of Trincomalee, Batticalloa, and Ampara. On the last day of the election observation, the AAEA mission submitted a report to Commissioner of Elections Dissanayake.

 Resolution

The organization of the AAEA observation missions to Sri Lanka elections in 2005 and 2008 is notified. 

III. BUSINESS

 AAEA FLAG DESIGN   

 (1)  WHEREAS, the AAEA flag was designed by the Philippines COMELEC, the former AAEA Secretariat. The flag was first raised at the opening ceremony of the 2005 General Assembly and according to the report explaining the AAEA flag design, electric blue was used as the background to represent fair and honest elections and a sun in the middle to symbolize that elections in a nation is a source of its continuing light with fourteen rays of canary yellow to represent the fourteen members of the association. However, as the number of AAEA members will most likely continue to increase in the future, this means we will make periodic modification on the design of the flag by increasing the number of rays corresponding to the increase of membership. It would be prudent to suggest that the association at least update the concept behind the flag design to reflect the inevitable expansion.

 (2) WHEREAS, at this point in time, two ideas have been proposed:

 a. that we simply reduce the number of rays from fourteen to eight to signify the eight founding members of the association, or

b. increase the number of rays from fourteen to seventeen to reflect the new number of association members.

 (3)  PROS AND CONS: Increasing the number of rays to correspond to the increasing membership will entail a periodic change in the flag design which runs counter to the concept that a flag design must have some permanence. Whereas putting emphasis on the number of founding members might not be in keeping with the spirit of the association뭩 goal of furthering democracy.

 (4)  WHEREAS, it is with this goal in mind that the Secretariat proposes to take this opportunity to modify the entire concept behind the flag design and abandon the emphasis on numbers and make prominent the idea of spreading democracy. The rays of light could thus signify the efficacy of democracy to empower the people which it shines upon and the intense potential for a bright and prosperous future across all of Asia.

 Discussion

Discussion during the meeting showed different views on the matter. Some representatives expressed sentiment for the original flag design and would like to see it unchanged. Others expressed their ideas of how the flag should change to mirror the growth of the association.

 Resolution

As the discussion went on about the flag design, it was clear that there are widely differing opinions on this subject and that it would be impossible to reach a final decision that everyone would be satisfied with. Chairman Chang thus motions for the Secretariat and parties to submit their own redesigns and vote upon them, along with the original flag, at the next AAEA General Assembly in 2011. Commissioner Trawen of Papua New Guinea seconds this proposed course of action and the motion passes.

 IV. MOTION

RESPONSIBILITY OF TRAVEL EXPENSES FOR OBSERVATION MISSIONS

Chairman Chang initiates the Temporary Motion segment of the Business Meeting, during which delegates can bring different issues that are not listed on the agenda to the attention of the Assembly.

Commissioner Dissanayake of Sri Lanka raises the issue of travel expenses for election observation missions, specifically airfare, which party should bear its costs, and elaborates on how this responsibility should be standardized to avoid future confusion and conflicts.

 Discussion

Commissioner Dissanayake of Sri Lanka proposes to standardize the airfare issue by having the inviting state to bear the costs of roundtrip economy class tickets for the foreign states invited to observe elections. Upgrading to business or first class, under this proposal, would be the financial responsibility of the invited foreign states.

 Resolution

Due to the differences in the economical status of different states, a consensus amongst participating members was reached that standardization would not be instituted and the inviting member state would determine the responsibility for the travel expenses for their observation mission.

ELECTION OF NEW AAEA CHAIRMAN  AND EXECUTIVE BOARD MEMBERS 


The election of chairperson, deputy chairperson, and executive board members was presided over by the current Chairman of the AAEA, Mr.  Masa J. S. Chang, who promptly opened the floor for nominations after the election procedure was detailed to and  accepted by the assembly뾅hairperson first, Deputy Chairperson second, and three executive board members last.  A quorum exists considering that ten (10) members are present out of the seventeen (17) members. 

The following is a detailed account of the election process for the 5 different positions in the AAEA.

 Chairperson

The assembly was unanimously given to accept the nomination and elect the Central Election Commission of Taiwan into the office of Chairperson.

 

President Dr. Lodin of the IEC, Afghanistan

Deputy Chairperson

The assembly was unanimously given to accept the nomination and elect the National Election Commission of the Republic of Korea into the office Deputy Chairperson.

Commissioner Trawen of Papua New Guinea


Three Executive Board Members

The assembly was unanimously given to accept these nominations and elect the election management bodies of Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and India into the office of Executive Board Members.

Mr. Yakubjon Madumarov, Senior Advisor of Tajikistan

AAEA Executive Secretary and AAEA Senior Consultant

  1. Chairman Chang appointed Mr. Ming-Hsien Yu, Deputy Secretary General of the Central Election Commission, Taiwan, the Executive Secretary of the AAEA, and Mrs. Teresita Dy-Liacco Flores, the former AAEA Executive Secretary, the AAEA senior consultant.

  2. The assembly was unanimously given to accept these appointments.

Mr. Ming-Hsing Yu, the AAEA Executive Secretary

 

FINAL RESULTS

The 2008 election for the different positions began at 11:05 a.m. and ended at 11:23 and the results are as follows:

 1)    ONE (1) AAEA CHAIRPERSON

 The Central Election Commission of Taiwan

2)    ONE (1) AAEA DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON

The National Election Commission of the Republic of Korea

 3)    THREE (3) AAEA EXECUTIVE BOARD MEMBERS

The Election Commission of India

The Nation Election Commission of Indonesia

The Department of Elections of Sri Lanka

4)    AAEA EXECUTIVE SECRETARY

Mr. Ming-Hsien Yu, Deputy Secretary General of the Central Election Commission of Taiwan

 5)    AAEA SENIOR CONSULTANT

Mrs. Teresita Dy-Liacco Flores, Former AAEA Executive Secretary

Mr. Mei Chu Lin, Former Executive Secretary

 and the newly elected Board members  

Speech of acceptance of the AAEA Chairman <Click to download the full text>

 

 Program

 

 

Mr. Masa J.S. Chang, Chairman of the Central Election Commission, Taiwan

 

 

Mr. Andrew Li-Yan Hsia, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Republic of China (Taiwan)

  • Welcome reception 

19:00-21:00       

Monday 21 July, 2008   

 

 

 

  • Opening Ceremony

10:00-12:00       

Tuesday 22 July, 2008   

 

 

 

Mr. Lin, Wen-Cheng , President of the Taiwan 

Foundation for Democracy

 

  • Luncheon

12:00-13:30       

Tuesday 22 July, 2008   

 

 

  • Country Report  

14:00-19:00

Tuesday 22 July, 2008   

 

 

 

  • Welcome Dinner               

19:00-21:30       

Tuesday 22 July, 2008   

 

 

  • Election of AAEA

    Chairman  and 

    Executive 

    Board Members

14:00-16:00  

Tuesday 22 July, 2008   

 

 

 

Participants 

  • Mr. Masa J.S. Chang

    (Taiwan)

  • Dr. Azizullah Lodin

    (Afghanistan)

  • Mr. Zekria Barakzai

    (Afghanistan)

  • Ms. Deki Pema

    (Bhutan)

  • Mr. Ritvik Pandey

    (India)

  • Dr. H.A. Hafiz Anshary,

    (Indonesia)

  • Mr. Abdul Aziz

    (Indonesia)

  • Mr.Kim Ho Youl

    (Republic of Korea)

  • Ms. Ock Mi Sun

    (Republic of Korea)

  • Ms. Chang Jung Sook

    (Republic of Korea)

  • Mr. Andrew S. Trawen

    ;(Papua New Guinea)

  • Mrs. Emily Kelton

    (Papua New Guinea)

  • Mrs. Teresita Dy-Liacco Flores

    (Philippines)

  • Mr. Dayanada Dissanayake

    (Sri Lanka)

  • Mr. Yakubjon Madumarov

    (Tajikistan)

  • Mr. Ahliddin Buriyev

    (Tajikistan)

  • Datuk Haji Kamaruzaman

    Bin Haji Mohd Noor

    (Malaysia)

  • Mr. Abdul Rahman Bin Johor

    (Malaysia)

  • Dr. Suthiphon Thaveechaiyagarn

    (Thailand)

  • Pol. Maj. Detchapon Korsanan

    (Thailand)

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