No overseas absentee voting in Baghdad, Damascus and Tripoli, says Comelec

By , on December 12, 2015


Iraqi capital of Baghdad (ShutterStock)
Iraqi capital of Baghdad (ShutterStock)

MANILA—The Commission on Elections (Comelec) will not conduct elections in conflict-stricken capitals, such as, Baghdad; Damascus; and Tripoli, the poll body said yesterday.

The Comelec’s Office for Overseas Voting (OFOV) has advised the poll body to refrain from conducting overseas absentee voting (OAV) in the three capitals “due to current evacuation status”, the Philippine Star reported.

“As much as we want to hold elections in these areas, we cannot do so… It’s an action in futility if we are going to send ballots there,” she said in an interview,” Secretariat Mariana Juana Valeza of the Comelec’s Office for Overseas Voting was quoting as saying in a Philippine Star report.

The embassies of the Philippines in Baghdad, Damascus and Tripoli have also been closed due to ongoing conflicts, Valeza added.

Despite the unavailability of Philippine embassies as voting posts in the three capitals, the Comelec has found a way for the 3,915 registered voters to cast their votes in May 2016.

“They can vote in the nearby area where there is no conflict. There will be a special list there and if your name is there, then you can vote. The rationale here is enfranchisement rather than disenfranchisement,” Commissioner Arthur Lim, head of the OFOV was quoted as saying in a Manila Bulletin report.