Prime contenders in Monday’s vote are Ferdinand Marcos Jr, the son and namesake of the Philippines’ late dictator, and the present Vice President Leni Robredo.
Naga Metropolis, Philippines – Hundreds of thousands of Filipinos have begun voting to decide on a brand new president in an election that pits the son of the Philippines’ late dictator in opposition to a human rights lawyer.
Polls opened throughout the Southeast Asian nation at 6:00am on Monday (22:00GMT on Sunday), with a file breaking 67 million individuals anticipated to forged their ballots.
Elections Commissioner George Garcia informed reporters that he anticipated an enormous turnout.
“It’s a historic election, a really memorable one, just because we’d be electing, not less than in a pandemic scenario, a brand new president and that’s why we’re anticipating a excessive turnout of voters,” he mentioned earlier than the polls opened.
Voting will finish at 7pm (11:00 GMT), with polling hours prolonged due to the coronavirus pandemic and the necessity to keep away from queues and crowds.
Counting of ballots will start immediately and the winner may very well be identified inside a couple of hours because the candidate with essentially the most votes wins the election.
There will probably be no second spherical.
Analysts have described Monday’s vote as essentially the most important election in current Philippine historical past as the result might end in both democratic backsliding or liberal reforms.
The competition has formed right into a two-way race between Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr and the present Vice President Leni Robredo. The pair had beforehand confronted off within the vice presidential race in 2016, with Marcos dropping to Robredo on the time.
However opinion surveys recommend Marcos will win the vote this time. He’s the son and namesake of his father who dominated the Philippines as a dictator till he was compelled from workplace and into exile in a well-liked rebellion in 1986.
Robredo, a lawyer who heads the opposition, has promised a extra clear authorities and to reinvigorate the nation’s democracy.
“This election is mostly a good versus evil marketing campaign,” College of the Philippines Diliman political scientist Aries Arugay informed Al Jazeera. “It’s fairly clear. [Marcos] represents dynasty, autocracy and impunity. Robredo stands for the other of that: integrity, accountability and democracy.”
Marcos’ operating mate within the election is the outgoing president’s daughter, Sara Duterte-Carpio. She is main the race for the vice-presidency, an election that’s held individually.
In Naga Metropolis in Southern Luzon province, polling opened with a prayer.
“Vote counting machine, please be good to us,” an election official mentioned as she prayed earlier than beginning the machine that will probably be used to file and transmit the ballots.
Then, a bell rang to sign the opening of polls and the voters began coming in.
Exterior the polling station, Maria Fe Cortes, 51, patiently waited in line for her flip.
“I’m voting for change. I hope the subsequent president will assist the poor,” Cortes informed Al Jazeera.