The May 9 general election in the Philippines was an unfair contest, a human rights group says, citing a failure of voting machine technology and a misleading social media campaign.
The International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines said the poll was “not free, honest, or fair by international standards”.
Observers reported a higher level of failure of the electronic voting system than ever before.
“A large number of voters did not get to cast their vote, and many had to trust that election officials would later put their marked ballot paper through a vote-counting machine, thus undermining the secrecy of the vote,” Lee Rhiannon, a former Australian senator, said.
The group said the election was a was a classic “guns, goons, and gold” contest marked by a massive social media campaign that was successful in rebranding the kleptocratic Marcos family’s brutal dictatorship as the golden age of Philippine politics.
There was also a higher level of blatant vote-buying as well as a number of incidents of deadly violence.
The Philippines Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected a final bid to disqualify president-elect Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr from last month’s election, clearing the way for his inauguration later this week and the return to rule of the country’s most famous dynasty.
Activists had appealed to the court to overturn the election commission’s dismissal of their petitions, which sought the disqualification of Marcos before the ballot because of his decades-old tax violations, which they argued made him ineligible to run.
- Reuters, with additional editing by George Russell