Maranao leaders oppose May 28 special polls in Lanao Sur

ILIGAN CITY, Lanao del Norte – Maranao leaders in Lanao del Sur are opposed to the May 28 schedule of special elections in seven towns because it falls on a Friday, an Islamic holy day.

“We are appealing that it be moved to another date. We hope the Comelec [Commission on Election] would recognize our religious sensibilities,” Abul Alibasa of the Ranaw Youth for Peace and Sustainable Development, said.

Alibasa said the seven towns “were predominantly, if not entirely, Muslim” and holding the balloting on a Friday would not be sensible.

The Comelec en banc has declared a failure of election and subsequently ordered that special polls be held in the towns of Lumba-Bayabao, Lumbaca-Unayan, Marogong, Sultan Dumalondong, Tubaran, Masiu and Bayang.

The balloting failed to push through there on May 10 largely because of security concerns and some administrative hitches.

Accounting for over 70,000 registered voters, the elections in the seven towns will no longer affect the outcome of votes for national positions but will be significant in the contests for the provincial and congressional seats, the poll body said.

“We are filing a protest to have another schedule,” Abdullah Dalidig of the Islamic Movement for Electoral Reform and Good Government (IMERGG) said.

Alibasa, a voter in Bayang town, said there would be low voter turnout if the May 28 schedule pushed through.

“We should not be brought into a situation wherein we have to choose which we value most. We care for both our religion and our right of suffrage,” Alibasa stressed.

Source: Inquirer


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