Language Sites
  • UCAN China
  • UCAN India
  • UCAN Indonesia
  • UCAN Vietnam

Reformers call for Mindanao poll delay

Peace process should come before voting, Muslim and civil groups say

Reformers call for Mindanao poll delay
Election in the Muslim autonomous region staff, Manila

February 15, 2011

Mail This Article
(For more than one recipient, type addresses separated by commas)

Muslim and civil organizations in the southern Philippines have called for planned elections in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) to be postponed. "We support President Benigno Aquino’s call to defer drastic electoral reforms and to focus on the peace process," said Salic Ibrahim, convener of Reform ARMM Now and executive director of the Maranao People’s Development Center. The presidential palace earlier announced that postponing the ARMM elections scheduled for August 8 was among 17 bills certified urgent by Aquino. Various groups proposed that the poll be moved to 2013 to coincide with mid-term elections, saying a "transition reform government" is needed. "Based on studies of past ARMM elections and the May 2010 elections, there is a need for drastic reforms in the electoral process before another election is held," said Ibrahim. Edgar Ramirez of the Church-run Notre Dame University in Cotabato City said the money earmarked for the elections should instead be used for reforms. The law creating the ARMM "needs an overhaul" before another election, said Leo Lizada of Solidarity for Peace and Equity-led Development in Cotabato City. The newly-launched "I am for Peace and Development in Mindanao” said the planned poll will not bring the desired change in the region and would be determined by "traditional and warlord politicians" who use money and guns to cling to power. Janree Pundato-Disomimba, the group’s leader, said elections in the region have never reflected the "real sentiments" of the people. "We believe that the postponement of the ARMM elections is a decisive step to institute immediate political and electoral reforms," Disomimba said. "We are for reform first before we agree to hold an election," he added. Related reports People share hopes and fears on Moro peace Muslim nominee to election commission has interreligious support PM13295.1641
UCAN needs your support to continue our independent journalism
Access to UCAN stories is completely free of charge - however it costs a significant amount of money to provide our unique content. UCAN relies almost entirely on donations from our readers and donor organizations that support our mission. If you are a regular reader and are able to support us financially, please consider making a donation. Click here to donate now.

Related Reports