Philippines senator takes seat after delay of 4 years due to vote rigging

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Juan Miguel Zubiri in the Philippines senate (3 Aug 2011)

Juan Miguel Zubiri resigned his seat in the Senate earlier this month

A candidate of an election that took place 4 years ago has finally been sworn into the Senate. Aquilino Pimentel had lost by a narrow margin but after a long battle for a recount a tribunal has finally granted him his win. Vote rigging and buying is common place in the Philippines and this sort of thing doesn’t inspire shock or horror but simply something expected and normal amongst politics in the Philippines.

He was sworn in on Friday and will take his senate place shortly afterwards. One of his main things on the agenda is to push for election reforms. At the same time he had lost out to an Arroyo supporter Juan Miguel Zubiri with anything to do with Arroyo seeming to be wrapped in scandal and power abuse including the recent Bishop Pajero scandal in the country. At the same time Mr Zubiri in traditional fashion denied any wrong doings and instead stepped down as no doubt aware that the official recount 8 days later was and did show he had not won. Best to go early without losing face and its now left the real winner of the senate seat only 2 years of the 6 years remaining before the next election.