2012 Baxter Award: Christian S. Monsod, former chairman of the Philippine Commission on Elections (COMELEC), recognized for reshaping election administration in the Philippines.
Christian Monsod Reshaped Electoral Administration in the Philippines
WASHINGTON, D.C. — (October 29, 2012) — The International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) is pleased to announce that Christian S. Monsod, former chairman of the Philippine Commission on Elections (COMELEC), founder and honorary chairman of the Legal Network for Truthful Elections (LENTE) and pioneer of the National Citizen’s Movement for Free Elections (NAMFREL), is the recipient of the 2012 Joe C. Baxter Award.
The award is presented annually to a professional committed to the principles of local ownership, transparency and sustainability of electoral administration. Throughout Monsod’s commendable career, he has built a track record upholding rule of law and claiming social justice for Philippine’s marginalized sectors.
Monsod will receive the award on November 5th at a reception in Washington, D.C. to be held in conjunction with IFES' U.S. Election Program, which will bring together over 300 election officials, parliamentarians and diplomats from over 50 countries to observe and learn about the U.S. electoral system as well as discuss elections and voting from comparative international perspectives.
"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."
Monsod said, "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."
Monsod has reshaped electoral administration in the Philippines, focusing on building transparent processes and ensuring greater participation of traditionally marginalized populations. His leadership, vision, managerial competence and independence were instrumental in rebuilding the integrity of and public confidence in the COMELEC. As the founding chairman of LENTE, he continues to be a moving force shaping the organization’s direction and inspiring young recruits to improve the state of Philippine democracy.
The Baxter Award is given in memory of longtime IFES employee Joe C. Baxter, who directed IFES’ work in Ghana and was respected internationally for his expertise and commitment to promoting democratic rights. Previous recipients include elections expert Rafael López-Pintor, Ghanaian electoral commission Chairman Kwadwo Afari-Gyan and campaign finance expert Delia Ferreira Rubio.
As the global leader in democracy promotion, IFES advances good governance and democratic rights by providing technical assistance to election officials; empowering the underrepresented to participate in the political process; and applying field-based research to improve the electoral cycle. Since 1987, IFES has worked in over 135 countries, from developing democracies, to mature democracies. For more information, visit www.IFES.org.