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Postponing 2022 elections until 2025 ‘unconstitutional’ —Comelec

/ 10:07 AM December 13, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Postponing the conduct of 2022 elections until 2025 would be unconstitutional, Commission on Elections (Comelec) spokesperson James Jimenez said on Monday.

Jimenez was reacting to a petition reportedly filed by the Coalition for Life and Democracy to halt the May 2022 polls until 2025 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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“I think they’re going by the fact that the Comelec does have the authority to suspend the conduct of elections. But, the petition itself, just on the surface of it, seems unlikely to prosper,” the spokesman said on ANC’s Headstart.

“Basically saying that we’re going to go against the Constitution and just not hold elections this year. Right? That would be unconstitutional,” he added.

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According to Jimenez, the Comelec may suspend the elections but only for short periods and “only when the conditions for free and fair elections do not exist.”

“I think those particular criteria do not exist right now. So, I don’t see any justification for granting this sort of petition. Of course, that’s entirely on the commission en banc if it ever gets to them,” he pointed out.

Jimenez also noted that the petition is “problematic.”

“Again, the petition is asking for the elections to be postponed all the way to 2025, essentially meaning that they just want to forego the elections entirely. This is problematic for two reasons: the Constitution is very specific about when elections are to be held and second, there is no holdover provision in the Constitution or anywhere for the positions that are up for election in the coming polls,” he explained.

The 2022 elections are set on May 9. Campaign period for national and local positions will start on February 8 and March 25, respectively.

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TAGS: 2022 elections, Comelec, Commission on Elections, election postponement, James Jimenez, Polls, vote
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