US congratulates RP on conduct of May 10 elections; looks forward to working with new gov’t

May 11, 2010 8:01 pm 

By Gloria Jane Baylon

MANILA, May 11 —- The U.S. embassy in Manila on Tuesday afternoon said “the Philippines has much to be proud of today” in its conduct of the May presidential elections and expressed it looks forward to a smooth transition in Malacanang after June 30.

The embassy congratulated the Filipinos “for achieving another milestone in the nation’s democratic history with the May 10 elections,” the first such process to be observed by newly-arrived U.S. ambassador Harry Thomas Jr., who presented his credentials to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo only last April.

Macapagal-Arroyo has ordered Executive Secretary Leandro Mendoza to pave the way for a smooth transition as she praised the Commission on Elections (Comelec) for its able leadership of the elections process, particularly in the conduct of automated elections.

The United States joined Australia, Japan, Indonesia, United Kingdom, the European Union in the dozen countries that fielded election observers.

“The Embassy was privileged to send 120 observers across the country to witness Philippine democracy in action,” the embassy said in a statement to the press.

Nationwide automated elections were implemented for the first time this year, with some results already known as early as Tuesday night.

Comelec, reconstituted as the National Board of Canvassers, expects to proclaim the 12 winners for the Senate in two days, while Congress is also due to convene to proclaim the winners in both the Presidential and Vice Presidential races.

Despite apprehensions and fears of possible election failure and massive cheating, the May 10 elections went beyond expectations even for the worst cynic and fear mongers. The success of the automation and the high turnout of voters are already perceived as having redeemed the tarnished reputation of the Comelec.

”While there are always lessons to be learned, our overwhelming impression is that the Philippines has much to be proud of today,” the statement continued.

“We look forward to a smooth transition and, after June 30, to working with the new Philippine government to deepen the friendship and partnership between our two nations, and to advance our common goals for the benefit of the Southeast Asia region and the world.”

The statement in full:

”The Embassy of the United States extends warm congratulations to the people of the Philippines for achieving another milestone in their nation’s democratic history with the May 10 elections.

”Philippine citizens served their nation by volunteering at the polls, exercising their right to vote, and taking every step necessary to ensure all ballots were counted. The Embassy was privileged to send 120 observers across the country to witness Philippine democracy in action. While there are always lessons to be learned, our overwhelming impression is that the Philippines has much to be proud of today.

”We look forward to a smooth transition and, after June 30, to working with the new Philippine government to deepen the friendship and partnership between our two nations, and to advance our common goals for the benefit of the Southeast Asia region and the world. (PNA) <br>dct/V3/GJB

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