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Korea to open global election watchdog body

Korea will establish the world’s first international association of election watchdogs in Incheon on Oct. 14, the National Election Commission of Korea said Thursday.

The Association of World Election Bodies, or A-WED, will work to expand international programs for election observation and support recently democratized nations in establishing election systems.

The association’s members include 109 election regulators from 105 nations, 13 international bodies and 40 non-governmental organizations including the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women.

The Korean watchdog played a key role in its foundation.

A-WEB’s inaugural meeting will be held at Incheon’s Songdo, where the organization’s secretariat will be located.

At the meeting, the members are scheduled to adopt its charter and elect its first chief.

NEC secretary general Moon Sang-boo said Korea would be able to train election officials from fledgling democracies and lend them advanced equipment to help prevent election interference.

The A-WEB’s webpage will be designed to share various countries’ election systems and their experience, he said.

The NEC estimates that the A-WEB will generate economic benefits of about 54.5 billion won ($50.6 million) on an annual basis.

By Choi He-suk (cheesuk@heraldcorp.com)
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