Philippine poll agency allows Estrada to run again

The Philippines' elections agency allowed former leader Joseph Estrada to run for president at next year's polls.

Philippine poll agency allows Estrada to run again

The Philippines' elections agency on Tuesday allowed former leader Joseph Estrada to run for president at next year's polls, putting him a step closer to seeking a second term and join the race with seven other candidates.

A spokeswoman for the former president was elated by the elections commission's decision, but the Supreme Court has yet to rule on whether Estrada is eligible to run again, given a constitutional ban on a president seeking a second term.

Estrada was ousted from office in 2001, later convicted of plunder and then pardoned by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

"This is the last performance of my life and I will not fail you," Estrada said when he announced his decision to seek the presidency in late October.

About 50 million Filipinos are voting for a president, a vice president, nearly 300 seats in the two houses of Congress and more than 17,500 local positions in next May's general elections.

"Out of 99 candidates, we have come up with the list," Jose Melo, chairman of the Commission on Elections, told reporters, adding only eight candidates were allowed to contest the presidency.

The eight include the top four contenders -- Estrada, Senators Benigno Aquino and Manuel Villar and former defence chief Gilberto Teodoro.

The rest, including environment activist Nicanor Perlas, were disqualified because they were either a nuisance candidate or they lack the resources and political network to campaign for votes, Melo said.

The poll body also announced there will be eight official candidates for vice president and 58 for the dozen vacant seats in the upper house of Congress.




Reuters

Last Mod: 16 Aralık 2009, 15:49
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