Asia

Articles about voting issues in Asia, Australia and Oceania.

India: Expats hail step on voting rights | Gulf Today

Indian expatriates from all walks of life have welcomed the Government of India’s decision to amend the existing electoral law and allow millions of Non-resident Indians (NRIs) to vote from abroad in elections back home. They opined that the decision will involve NRIs in nation-building activities and expressed hope that now political parties will give serious considerations to the problems faced by NRIs. Bindu Suresh Chettur, eminent advocate, legal consultant and President of the Indian Business and Professional Council, Dubai, welcomed the decision and said that it was a constitutional right of the NRIs. Read More

Nepal: Stakeholders demand voting rights for migrant workers | Republica

Speakers at a programme here stressed for a provision wherein the Nepali migrant workers abroad could cast their ballots back home by any means. At an interaction programme themed on the voting rights of the migrant workers and organized by People Forum in the capital city, they also suggested the concerned authorities to consider the ways for the Nepali migrant workers off-shore to help them exercise their franchise in the next local level election to be held after five years. There are a total of 115 countries in the world having provisions for their fellow citizens in the foreign soil to vote, they shared recommending a system wherein the Nepali migrant workers could cast vote at Nepali diplomatic missions from the respective countries they work in.  Read More

Azerbaijan: Foreign Ministry says holding illegal presidential election in Nagorno-Karabakh is ‘ridiculous’ | APA

Holding an illegal presidential election in the Azerbaijani territories occupied by Armenia is ridiculous, Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Hikmat Hajiyev told APA. He was commenting on the illegal “presidential election” to be held by the so-called regime in Nagorno-Karabakh on July 19. Hajiyev reminded that the so-called “parliamentary elections” on May 3, 2015 and “the referendum on constitutional changes” on February 20, 2017 of the illegal puppet regime established in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan by Armenia was rejected and not recognized by the international community.   Read More

India: Postal ballots for Non-Resident Indians could be a reality | India Legal

Despite the Representation of the People Act allowing a Non Resident Indian (NRI) the right to enrol as a voter in India, he/she is not allowed to vote through postal ballots (like defence personnel) or through a more modern e-voting system. This denied them their fundamental rights. On Friday (July 14) the Supreme Court came down heavily on the Centre for this lapse and gave the government a week to decide whether the Act would be amended to allow such people to vote. The bench of Chief Justice JS Khehar and Justice DY Chandrachud studied a report of a panel headed by Deputy Election Commissioner Vinod Zutshi which said that the Election Commission of India (ECI) and the Centre were, in fact, agreeable to the issue, but action has been missing in this regard. Read More

Japan: Redistricting law to reduce lower house seats takes effect | Japan Today

A law to revise lower house electoral districts to reduce voting weight disparities between densely and sparsely populated constituencies took effect Sunday following a monthlong period to notify the public about the changes. The revised Public Offices Election Law reduced the number of lower house members elected from Aomori, Iwate, Kagoshima, Kumamoto, Mie and Nara prefectures by one each, with another four seats cut from proportional representation blocks, shrinking the lower house to a postwar low of 465 seats. The amendment brings the maximum vote weight disparity between districts down to 1.999 to 1 — just under the 2-to-1 threshold that the Supreme Court has said would undermine the Japanese Constitution’s guarantee of equality for all under the law. Read More

Cambodia: Parliament changes election law ahead of 2018 vote | Reuters

Cambodia’s parliament on Monday amended the law to ban people from associating with anyone convicted of a criminal offense, a move the opposition says aims to hobble rivals of Prime Minister Hun Sen ahead of a general election next year. Hun Sen’s ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) voted to change the election law to ban political parties from engaging with such individuals, who also face bans on participating in politics through images, audio recordings and writing. Political parties which violate the law face a five-year suspension or could be dissolved. The amendment effectively bans former opposition leader Sam Rainsy, who lives in exile in France to avoid arrest in a number of convictions, from campaigning from abroad for the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP). Read More

India: Election Commission to get 30,000 VVPAT machines by September | Times of India

The Election Commission (EC) is expected to get delivery of around 30,000 voter verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) voting machines by the first week of September, enabling it to hold 100% paper trail-based assembly polls in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh at the end of this year. The commission, which has a stock of 53,500 VVPAT machines, requires around 70,000 units for Gujarat polls and around 15,000 units to conduct Himachal Pradesh elections. The additional 30,000 machines will complete the requirement for two state polls. Read More

Mongolia: Former Martial Arts Star Battulga Wins ‘Worst Election in Mongolian History’ | The Wire

Populist former martial arts star and businessman Khaltmaa Battulga has won Mongolia‘s presidential run-off election, according to voter data from the General Election Commission released on Saturday. The poll was seen as a referendum on the government’s economic recovery plans and the role of southern neighbour China in the landlocked but resource-rich country known as the birthplace of Mongol emperor Genghis Khan. Battulga, of the opposition Democratic Party, won with 50.6% of the vote on a 60.9% turnout, giving him the majority needed to overcome his opponent, said parliament speaker Miyeegombo Enkhbold of the ruling Mongolian People’s Party. Election officials are still, however, waiting on a final count of votes from abroad. Read More

India: Election Commission to tally paper trail slips with electronic voting machines in 5% booths in each assembly seat | The Indian Express

In a bid to further reinforce the credibility of electronic voting machines, the Election Commission (EC) has decided to mandatorily tally paper trail slips with the results of EVMs in five per cent of polling stations in each assembly seat, for all state and Lok Sabha elections. The counting of paper trail slips, however, will not take place in more than 14 polling stations and less than five polling stations in each assembly seat. The stations will be selected or identified at random. This change in the vote counting process will, by the EC’s estimate, delay the announcement of poll results by three hours. The Commission has already decided to link all EVMs with Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) machines in the Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh Assembly elections, scheduled to be held towards the end of this year. VVPAT machines produce a printout of the vote cast using an EVM. The printed ballot slip is deposited in a box and can be used to resolve any dispute regarding the election. Read More

Japan: Tokyo Voters’ Rebuke Signals Doubt About Shinzo Abe’s Future | The New York Times

As recently as this spring, Shinzo Abe looked as if he was on track to become Japan’s longest-serving prime minister, no small feat in a country where the leadership sometimes seems to be equipped with a revolving door. But a local election in Tokyo has put Mr. Abe’s longevity in doubt. Voters for the capital’s metropolitan assembly on Sunday resoundingly rejected candidates from Mr. Abe’s party, the Liberal Democrats, while electing all but one of 50 fielded by an upstart party founded by Tokyo’s popular governor, Yuriko Koike. The victory for Tomin First, the party Ms. Koike established in January, was widely seen as a referendum on Mr. Abe as much as a vote of confidence in Ms. Koike. Read More