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Lakas-CMD president eyes House speakership

/ 12:30 AM May 23, 2013

The Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats intends to remain in the opposition in the House of Representatives and retain control of the minority in the 16th Congress.

Lakas-CMD president Ferdinand Martin Romualdez, who was reelected as Leyte representative, will be running for speaker against the Liberal Party’s Feliciano Belmonte, although Lakas-CMD is aware it does not have the numbers to topple the administration lawmaker, according to Minority Leader Danilo Suarez.

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“Of course, when you try to run for a certain position, the expectation is you will win the fight. But we also have to be pragamatic. We don’t have the luxury of numbers right now, so the objective is to be the minority leader,” Suarez said at a press briefing.

In a two-person contest for the speakership, the loser becomes the minority leader. But if there are three or more contenders, the candidate with the second highest number of votes gets to head the minority.

To ensure that Lakas-CMD will head the minority, the party’s members have been talking to lawmakers from other parties who ran against the administration in the recent midterm elections, with the intent of convincing them to support Romualdez.

He said some members of the Nacionalista Party or the Nationalist People’s Coalition may join the group.

The LP teamed up with the NPC and the NP during the elections to field a common senatorial slate, but it was a different matter in the local races with some of the coalesced parties fielding bets for the same posts.

Lakas-CMD is also eyeing the support of incoming Cebu Representative Gwen Garcia, who has accused the administration of harassing her after she was suspended as Cebu governor, according to Suarez.

There are also party-list groups that may join the minority, he added. Lakas-CMD already has some names in mind, but it is just waiting for all winners to be proclaimed before approaching them, Suarez said.

The administration’s LP is expected to dominate the House in the 16th Congress as many of its candidates, numbering about 100, won their congressional contests.

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TAGS: Congress, House speakership, Lakas-CMD, Martin Romualdez, Philippines, Politics
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