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Manila snap polls rejected by Prez

President Gloria Arroyo rejected the conduct of snap polls to resolve the political crisis due to questions over the legitimacy of her mandate.

india Updated: Apr 08, 2006 17:26 IST
Indo-Asian News Service
Indo-Asian News Service

Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo rejected on Saturday the conduct of snap elections to resolve the political crisis due to questions over the legitimacy of her mandate.

Presidential spokesman Ignacio Bunye said the Opposition calls for snap elections would be "snapping the people's hopes for a better future."

"Snap polls are not the answer to our poisoned political atmosphere," he said.

"The wounds of the nation will never be healed if the opposition insists in personality change rather than an institutional change."

"The attacks on President Arroyo strike at the foundations of duly constituted authority and provide fodder for destabilisation attempts," he stated.

Bunye added that snap elections "have never been and shall never be within our options" in resolving the current impasse.

Arroyo's woes started in June last year following the release of wiretapped conversations, allegedly between a senior elections official and her about rigging the May 2004 elections.

Since then, Arroyo has been dodging questions about her legitimacy and have resorted to repressive measures, including violent dispersal of anti-government protests and gagging officials from talking in congressional inquiries, to suppress dissent.

Her allies in Congress have also succeeded in blocking an impeachment bid in September last year, which could have unearthed the truth behind the wiretapped conversations.

Various surveys showed that majority of the Filipinos do not trust Arroyo and believed that she cheated in the last elections.

Arroyo, a devout Catholic, claimed it is the will of god that she rules the country during these critical times, insisting that she won the elections fair and square.

First Published: Apr 08, 2006 15:10 IST