Return to two-party system urged
MANILA, Philippines — The country should return to the two-party system to restore the checks and balances in government and correct a “dysfunctional democracy,” a party list lawmaker said on Monday.
House Deputy Minority Leader Lito Atienza lamented the fact that 34 candidates in Monday’s elections were running unopposed and would automatically get seats in the House.
“Having a lone candidate for an elective post is bad for voters who are left with no choice. It is also bad for government and for our system of checks and balances, and bad for our political parties as well,” the Buhay representative said.
Citing records from the Commission on Elections, Atienza said the areas in Metro Manila with candidates running unopposed include Mandaluyong, Caloocan and Valenzuela City.
Four of the eight congressional districts in Cavite province also have unchallenged candidates, while in Laguna province, two candidates are running unopposed.
Congressional districts in the provinces of Cagayan, Quirino, La Union, Apayao, Rizal, Bulacan, Bataan, Batangas and Palawan also have candidates without opponents.
In the local level, dozens of candidates for governor and mayor are likewise running without rivals, Atienza said.
“Just like in business, competition is necessary to provide consumers—in this case, voters—greater freedom to choose, and to encourage fair play,” he said. —Melvin Gascon
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