Australia, U.K. praise peaceful presidential elections in Philippines

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Australia and the United Kingdom praised the Philippines Wednesday for the smooth conduct of its first-ever automated polls as both governments noted the significant drop in election-related violence in the country.

The Australian Embassy said the strong voter turnout and participation by volunteers and civil society “were a powerful expression of the Philippines’ commitment to democracy.”

While waiting for the official proclamation of winners in the national level, Ambassador Rod Smith said Australia expects an orderly transition of power.

“Australia looks forward to a smooth political transition and to working with the new administration when it takes office, building on the substantial and positive relations we now enjoy,” he said.

British Ambassador Stephen Lillie said popular fears about the introduction of automated elections had been laid to rest, he although noted that there was still work to do in achieving a genuine culture of peaceful elections in the country.

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