Philippine polls give president solid control

Manila. Philippine President Benigno Aquino has won an unprecedented control of the two chambers of Congress after midterm elections.
Cleanup starts a day after the May 13 midterm elections, which saw the ruling coalition win solid majority. Net photo.
Cleanup starts a day after the May 13 midterm elections, which saw the ruling coalition win solid majority. Net photo.

Manila. Philippine President Benigno Aquino has won an unprecedented control of the two chambers of Congress after midterm elections.

The victory will boost hopes for his reforms to sustain growth and alleviate poverty.

Unofficial votes tallies on Tuesday showed that Aquino’s allies were poised to gain control of the Senate, with his coalition winning nine of a dozen seats up for grabs.

The reformist president also appears to keep an overwhelming majority in the House of Representatives, becoming the country’s only president to enjoy a clear majority in Congress since democracy was restored in 1986.

“This is a strong result and a clear endorsement of Aquino’s reform agenda on which he now looks likely to make more progress as he gains control of the Senate,” said Euben Paracuelles, a Singaporean economist who works with Nomura, an investment bank.

But the political comeback of ousted former President Joseph Estrada, the leader of the opposition, who won as mayor of the capital Manila, could restrain Aquino’s reform momentum beyond his term, which ends in 2016.

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