Philippines' turbulent poll season kicks off

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Philippines turbulent  poll season kicks off
Philippine Vice-President and now presidential candidate Jejomar Binay, holds a baby as he joins informal settlers in eating breakfast known as 'boodle fight' along a street prior to filing his certificate of candidacy for next year's presidential elections in Manila.

Manila - Registration process begins for 18,000 positions up for grabs


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Published: Tue 13 Oct 2015, 1:32 PM

Last updated: Tue 13 Oct 2015, 2:01 PM

The Philippines' election season kicked off on Monday with politicians registering for thousands of posts, launching a typically raucous and deadly seven months of campaigning in a famously chaotic democracy.
A successor to President Benigno Aquino will be chosen in the six-yearly polls, with the frontrunners a savvy politician fighting corruption charges, the adopted daughter of a movie star and a low-key stalwart of the ruling Liberal Party.
Aquino, who has won international plaudits for tackling systemic corruption and his solid economic stewardship, is imploring voters to choose longtime ally Mar Roxas to continue his "straight path" style of governance.
"This is a campaign to continue the straight path, a campaign to make our hopes possible, a campaign that will continue the heroic story of the Filipino people," Aquino said at a rally to announce the Liberal Party's Senate ticket.
But Roxas has struggled in the polls and is facing strong challenges from Jejomar Binay, the current vice-president who is being investigated for graft, and Grace Poe, a political novice riding on her late father's legendary status in the cinema.
The start of a week-long registration process began on Monday for more than 18,000 positions up for grabs - from the presidency down to village captain level - in the May elections. Binay, a former Aquino ally who now heads the main opposition party, was the first of the major candidates to register at election headquarters in Manila on Monday.
The Philippines has long struggled to establish an efficient democracy, with the ghosts of former dictator Ferdinand Marcos's rule from 1965-1986 still haunting the country.
His son and namesake is running for the vice-presidency as an independent, insisting his father's rule was benign and that voters will largely be preoccupied with the nation's present problems rather than the past.

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