04/08/2010, 00.00
PHILIPPINES
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Black-out of factories and shops to ensure electronic voting in elections

Because of drought the dams produce little electricity. The government announces the interruption of electricity to factories and shopping malls during elections, to ensure the proper operation of voting equipment. For now the measure concerns the region of Mindanao.

Manila (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The Philippine government has announced the closure of factories and shopping centres in the regions most affected by drought, for the use of electronic voting during the election. Indeed, the lack of water in hydroelectric plants and the continued energy blackouts in recent months pose a serious risk to the May elections.

For now, the measure only regards the region of Mindanao, where energy supplies will be stopped between the 9 and 11 May for 8 hours a day, but Jose Ibazeta Ibazeta, Secretary for Energy, does not foresee interruptions in other parts of the country. Meanwhile, the consortium responsible for managing the electronic voting equipment has ensured a supply of batteries for 80 thousand electronic machines deployed in different polling stations throughout the country.

 

May 10th next over 50 million people will vote to choose: president, vice president, 300 deputies in both houses of Congress and 17,600 local politicians. These are the first presidential elections after 6 years of government of outgoing President Gloria Arroyo. To avoid the fraud that characterized the previous ballots, the 2010 election will also be the first to enjoy an electronic counting of votes.

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