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Poll body trims number of Senate bets, party-lists

The Commission on Elections has trimmed the list of accredited party-list and senatorial bets to 24 from 185 and to 148 from 152, respectively, for the 2019 May elections.

The Comelec said the official number of senatorial candidates was expected to be reduced by more than half after it releases the final list on Dec. 15.

Comelec spokesman James Jimenez said the list would be released by December since the ballot-design process would have to start by January next year.

The Comelec will print at least 60-million ballots for the May elections, and those will be delivered to the precincts by April.

The poll body said the printing of official ballots for the May 2019 elections will start in January 2019, a month after the substitution of candidates expired on Nov. 29.

Jimenez said after Nov. 29, substitution would only be allowed in the event a candidate died or was replaced by someone who shared his or her last name.

The Comelec also released the allowed expenditures for each candidate in the 2019 elections. It said each local candidate was allowed to spend only P1.50 for every registered voter in his or her area of the constituency.

However, the agreed amount for a national candidate or registered political party to spend on the election campaign would P3 for every voter. 

A candidate without any political party and without support from any political party may be allowed to spend P5 for every such voter, and for political parties P5 for every voter registered in the constituency or constituencies where it has official candidates.

Any contribution in cash or in kind to any candidate or political party or coalition of parties for campaign purposes will not be subject to the payment of any gift tax.

Topics: Commission on Elections , 2019 May elections , James Jimenez
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