MANILA, Philippines – Fifteen clustered precincts in a town in Lanao del Sur accommodated thousands of voters on Tuesday, May 24, for a one-day special election that will help determine the final outcome of the 2022 party-list race.
Nearly 7,000 residents of Tubaran, Lanao del Sur, were eligible to cast their ballots on Tuesday, after 12 barangays in the municipality suffered a failure of elections on May 9, due to a spate of violence.
“Not a single glitch or issue as of this time,” Commission on Elections (Comelec) Commissioner George Garcia told reporters on Tuesday morning.
Elections results from Lanao del Sur, which has over 685,000 registered voters, have yet to be included in the final official tally of votes for the senatorial and party-list races, as they cannot be electronically transmitted without the votes from Tubaran.
The Comelec, which sits as the National Board of Canvassers (NBOC), determined that the remaining votes in the province would not affect the outcome of the senatorial race, hence the proclamation of the winning candidates on May 18.
The party-list race, however, is much more volatile, due to a complex voter-dependent formula which would determine which groups would get the 63 House seats allotted for them. Because of the tight race, the NBOC postponed the proclamation of winning party-list groups originally set on May 19.
Tubaran has been placed under Comelec control – meaning the commission has direct control over law enforcement agencies and government employees – since March, due to a “history of election-related violence.”
Leading contenders for the top spot in city hall are Khaledyassin Papandayan and Mohamad Nashif-Madki, the nephew of Comelec Chairman Saidamen Pangarungan.
Papandayan previously urged Pangarungan to inhibit from functions involving Lanao del Sur due to alleged bias.
Pangarungan, however, dismissed accusations of bias as “baseless,” and refused to heed calls for his inhibition. – Rappler.com