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Dead bet




Elections in the Philippines are fascinating. They never run out of nuisance candidates and “flying voters.” Also, there are no losers. Disgruntled candidates always claim they were cheated by the winners.

Elections are also scary because candidates can end up assassinated or murdered and dead voters can cast ballots — not in person but by proxy. During the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections in 2002, five voters caught casting ballots on behalf of dead people were arrested at the polling precinct in Barangay Buting, Pasig City.

A voter in the 2016 elections found the name of her deceased husband in the voters’ list at the Araullo High School in Ermita, Manila. Ironically, there were living voters whose names were not on the list so were unable to vote.

If there are “dead” voters who vote, there are also dead candidates. In the last presidential elections, former ambassador to the UAE Roy Señeres ran for president but died three months before the polls. Nevertheless, his name was on the ballot and he received 22,726 votes.

A similar situation transpired in Romania. Candidate for mayor Ion Aliman won by a landslide after 1,057 of 1,600 voters of Deveselu municipality recently chose his name on the ballot. But he could not be proclaimed the winner as he died from the coronavirus disease on 17 September.

Aliman’s triumphant supporters went to his grave. Well, not to resurrect him, but to hold a victory celebration.

“We went to congratulate him,” a Deveselu resident commented under a photo posted on Facebook that showed dozens of people with candles at the local cemetery, according to AFP.

As to who will assume the town mayor’s post, authorities will hold new elections to choose a living candidate.

with AFP