Voters in the Philippines go to the polls on Friday (7 April) to elect a new interim National Assembly.
Voters in the Philippines go to the polls on Friday (7 April) to elect a new interim National Assembly. It is the first time an election has been held there since martial law was declared in 1972.
SYNOPSIS: With the opposition People's Power Party limiting their election campaign to 21 seats in Manila, President Marcos and his New Society Movement are assured of a large majority in the 200-seat National Assembly. The President's wife, Mrs. Imelda Marcos, is running against opposition for one of the capital's seats, instead of seeking an unopposed provincial seat. The New Society Movement, known as KBL, is running its campaign seriously.
KBL organise their rallies shrewdly, and shape their campaigning on their record during five years of martial law administration. In Manila, government supporters stress the city's growth and development during Mrs. Marcos's years as governor.
President Marcos automatically sits in the new chamber as Prime Minister. He has said the elections will be clean, free and honest, and has made many public appearances to support his wife's campaign.
Despite the claims of the KBL leadership, the run-up to this week's election has been troubled. Police an para-military units went on full alert after a series of small bomb blasts during the past two weeks. Discontent is growing within the opposition party at the continued imprisonment of their leader, Benigno Aquino, a former senator. He has been in prison for five and a -half years on charges of murder and political subversion. Observers believe that, with no real leadership and dwindling political funds, the People's Power Party will be unable to match the forceful campaigning of Mrs. Marcos and her supporters.