In the Philippines Election 2022, the son of a former dictator has taken an early lead.
According to unofficial results, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr surpassed his rival with 18 million votes.
It is likely that the Marcos clan, ousted 36 years ago by a people’s revolt, will return to power if the landslide holds.
As the Philippines’ vice president, Leni Robredo is his major rival.
The announcement of a winner could take days, as it took days to announce the 2016 winner. A 30 percentage-point lead has consistently been reported by pollsters in this campaign for the Marcos heir.
In addition to Sara Duterte, the incumbent president’s daughter, a hardliner who is ending his six-year term, is running as his running mate.
There are several places where voting was extended due to Covid restrictions and queues still forming as of 19:00 local time (11:00 GMT).
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There was a high turnout of the nation’s 67.5 million eligible voters – with many waiting outside polling booths at schools and community centers before dawn to cast their votes on Monday.
Some voters reported problems feeding their ballot papers into the counting machines at a school in Manila, the BBC reported. Other voters claimed that poll officials told them to leave their ballots at the booths.
George Garcia, the commission’s commissioner, told the BBC earlier that allegations of irregularities will continue to arise but there have been no significant violations so far.
Additionally, he stated that there had been “minimal” reports of violence, and that “the police are fully in control of the situation”.
Rodrigo Duterte will be replaced by whoever wins Monday’s presidential Philippines Election 2022.
Despite accusations of wrongdoing, the Duterte government has always denied any allegations of wrongdoing during its crackdown on drug and crime.
In his presidency, critics are also pointing to an attack on democratic institutions, pointing to the shutdown of Philippine broadcaster ABS-CBN, which – along with many other independent media outlets – has angered Mr Duterte in the past.
Thousands of lower-ranking officials and senators as well as vice-presidents and senators across the 7,600 islands of the Philippines are also up for Philippines Election 2022.
Who are the candidates?
Son of former dictator Ferdinand Marcos, Bongbong Marcos, 64, served under his government for 21 years.
In his family’s heartland, Batac, in the country’s north, he voted with his mother Imelda at a school polling station Monday.
Marcos imposed martial law on the Philippines and controlled the judiciary, business, and media. Thousands of dissidents and political opponents were arrested and tortured by the army and police.
Imelda Marcos – famous for her lavish designer wardrobe – and their cronies stole an estimated $10bn (£8.1bn) from the public purse. He was forced out of power in the People’s Power Revolution of 1986 due to public anger over his regime, and he died shortly thereafter.
When the Marcoses returned from exile in the 1990s, they used their wealth and connections to pursue their political ambitions, becoming governors, congressmen and senators.
After losing to Ms Robredo in the 2016 vice-presidential race, he contested the results and vowed not to settle for “cheating” again.
He is running with Sara Duterte, daughter of the president. Their election rallies often failed to mention any policies despite promises to “unify” the nation.
Ms. Robredo, a former lawyer, consistently fought against the drugs violence that has been perpetrated by Duterte.
As part of her campaign, she pledges to tackle corruption with the slogan: “A better life for all, honest government.”.
Recent rallies have drawn notable crowds – particularly young, engaged “Pink Shirt” supporters who started door-to-door campaigns to win her votes.
Marcos and Robredo have been leading the other candidates in the polls. Manny Pacquiao, a national hero and boxing champion, has announced plans to fight poverty and corruption, and Manila’s city mayor Isko Moreno promised more infrastructure spending and a tougher stance toward China.
Do you have any electoral concerns?
According to critics, social media has been a source of rampant misinformation during the election.
Richard Heydarian, a professor at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines, said it is a cesspool of misinformation that just gets worse every election cycle.
His family’s history has been whitewashed online, but Marcos has denied this. In spite of widespread poverty and an economy heavily indebted to foreign banks, he has repeatedly painted his father’s dictatorship as a “golden period” for the country.
Aside from that, he has avoided participating in debates or forums that might require independent questioning.
Tracker groups report an escalation in online campaigns misogynistically targeting Ms Robredo.
Past elections in the Philippines have been generally free and fair, according to the Asian Network for Free Elections, a monitor.