Thursday, May 17, 2007

Namfrel unable to achieve 60% target count by May 18

Posted May 18, 2007 08:08:00(Mla Time)

Alexander Villafania

MANILA, Philippines -- The National Movement for Free Elections (Namfrel) will not be able to achieve its expected target of 60 percent tallies by Friday, according to an executive of the poll watch group.

“Obviously we won’t be able to achieve our original target on time,” Namfrel chairman Edward Go said in a chance interview with

Go had earlier told reporters that the Namfrel intends to finish counting 60 percent, or about 28 million, of the votes by Friday.

However, as of 5:15 a.m. Friday, Namfrel finished counting only 18.95 percent of the total number of votes from 42,585 out of 224,748 precincts.

Go added that they are still hopeful to finish counting 10 million votes, or one-third of the total votes, until Sunday, May 20.

In a separate interview, Namfrel secretary general Eric Alvia said they could achieve 10 million votes by Sunday as the main Namfrel headquarters at the La Salle Greenhills gym in San Juan has been receiving more election returns from the field.

The reports come in either through faxed format, email or web upload.

He admitted that they intentionally did not come up with new tallies Thursday night, explaining that they had to verify their figures first with their field officers.

“When we get the field reports, we have to encode them here. Then we have to send our own tallies back to the field officers to verify the numbers,” Alvia said.

He added that they cannot cross-check the figures at night since Namfrel volunteer officers from the headquarters and the field were already tired.

“They’ve been working round the clock since election day. We can’t risk any mistakes in the numbers, especially with tired volunteers,” Alvia said.