Campaigning for Philippine elections starts

More than 50 million Filipinos choose a president, vice president, nearly 300 lawmakers in the two-chamber Congress and more than 17,600 local government seats on May 10.

Campaigning for Philippine elections starts

Campaigning for elections to the Philippine Congress and thousands of provincial positions began on Friday, with interest centred on how it shakes up the presidential race.

More than 50 million Filipinos choose a president, vice president, nearly 300 lawmakers in the two-chamber Congress and more than 17,600 local government seats on May 10.

Elections in the resource-rich Southeast Asian nation are always colourful -- Congress candidates this year include President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, Imelda Marcos and boxing champion Manny Pacquiao -- but are also marked by violence and fraud as clans vie for provincial power.

Arroyo, who is not eligible for another term as president, and about a dozen members of her Cabinet are seeking local positions.

Candidates visited cities and towns, pressing hands with market vendors, housewives, students and labourers and holding political rallies.

Imelda Marcos, widow of deposed dictator Ferdinand Marcos who ruled the Philippines for 20 years until 1986, is seeking a seat in the lower house of Congress. Her eldest daughter, Imee, is running for governor of the tobacco-producing Ilocos province.

On the southern island of Mindanao, seven-time world boxing champion Manny Pacquiao hopped from town to town, visiting markets and public parks in his quest for a seat in Congress.


Reuters

Güncelleme Tarihi: 26 Mart 2010, 15:09

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