Fair election in Mindanao 'unlikely'

Vote buying and violence have categorised previous attempts

Fair election in Mindanao 'unlikely'
Muslim Filipino women cast their votes during the recent elections
Rick Flores, Davao City, Philippines

February 24, 2011

A priest in the Muslim majority city of Marawi in the southern Philippines believes holding honest and fair elections in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao is a “tall order”. “First, we need to know how people perceive elections,” said Father Teresito Soganub, vicar general of the Prelature of Saint Mary, adding that past elections witnessed massive vote-buying and violence despite efforts by Church and civic groups to ensure clean polls. Supporting proposals to postpone polls slated for this year until 2013 the priest said, “Local people should clearly define the meaning of elections in their region.” It is important so that people will understand how democracy works, he said. PM13418.1642

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