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PUBLISHED: Mar 3, 2014 12:11pm

Study: Malaysia ranks lowly in electoral integrity

election-l3-Mar

ZAHRIN RAHMAN (E) By:
Zahrin Rahman (e)

Malaysia scored the lowest ranking in electoral boundaries in the EIP study.

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KUALA LUMPUR

A new study by Electoral Integrity Project (EIP) has presented new evidence on flawed and failed elections.

The study of 73 democracies has placed Malaysia at almost the bottom of the pile, in 66th place.

Malaysia also scored the lowest, just 28 points in voting district boundaries.

The EIP is an independent research project based at the University of Sydney and Harvard University, under the direction of Professor Pippa Norris.

This annual report evaluates all national parliamentary and presidential contests occurring in 66 countries worldwide holding 73 election from July 1, 2012 to Dec 31,2013 (excluding smaller states with a population below 100,000), from Albania to Zimbabwe.

Data is derived from a global survey of 855 election experts.

The report includes 73 national parliamentary and presidential contests held worldwide in 66 countries.

All data are clustered into 11 stages occurring during the electoral cycle and summed to construct an overall 100-point expert Perception of Electoral Integrity (PEI) index and ranking.

Malaysia scored only 48.4 points.

Overall, the study confirmed that elections in Northern and Western Europe are evaluated most positively, again as expected, while Southeast Asia was the weakest region.

The study also found long-standing democracies such as Norway, Germany and the Netherlands emerging as the highest in electoral integrity, while contests in countries such as the Republic of Congress, Djibouti and Equatorial Guinea were the worst rated by experts.

The United States ranked 26th out of 73 elections under comparison worldwide, the lowest score among Western nations, falling into the “Moderate Integrity” category.

The study also found that campaign finance and campaign media coverage are the weakest links in the electoral cycle, present in many developing countries, such as Burkina Faso and the Republic of Congo, as well as in many affluent societies, such as the United States and Italy.

It went on to say that the regulation of money in politics deserved greater attention by domestic actors and the international community.

This was necessary to  reduce corruption, the abuse of state resources and vote-buying to strengthen public confidence in elections and ensure a level playing field for all parties and candidates.

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