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‘Fight side by side in 2010’

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By Joel Guinto
First Posted 11:13:00 01/29/2009

Filed Under: Elections, Eleksyon 2010, Politics

CLARK FIELD, Pampanga – (UPDATE) President Gloria Macapagal-Aroyo pushed for the merger between the two major parties in the administration coalition, saying they should “fight side by side in 2010.”

Speaking at the National Executive Committee Meeting of Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats here Thursday, Arroyo ordered the creation of a National Consolidation and Unification Committee to be chaired by her political adviser Gabriel Claudio to pursue the merger between Lakas and the Kabalikat ng Malayang Pilipino (Partner of the Free Filipino, Kampi) and alliances with other political parties that would be “in the interest of the administration coalition.”

The same committee will also set the criteria and mechanism for choosing the coalition’s bets for next year’s general elections.

“The unification and merger of Lakas and Kampi must now proceed in earnest and with deliberate speed,” Arroyo said.

Arroyo said merging the two parties would consolidate support for government programs to keep the economy afloat amid the global recession.

“It will also ensure that we fight side by side in 2010… Even as we strengthen our ranks, let us also commit ourselves to the holding of orderly and credible elections in 2010, principally ensuring the successful automation of our electoral process,” she said.

In an interview with reporters during a break from the caucus, Claudio said the unification committee hoped to finish the merger in three months.

“I have every hope and expectation that all leaders and members of both parties will listen intently to what the President says on this matter. It’s not only a matter of direction or order coming from the chairman of the coalition. There is political logic in being able to conclude the merger of Lakas and Kampi,” he said.

When the two parties merge, they will hold 65 to 70 percent of all incumbent positions, said Claudio, senior deputy secretary general of Lakas.

Claudio also maintained that Lakas would be the surviving entity after the merger, as agreed upon when Arroyo first called for Lakas and Kampi to unite in early 2008, as she consolidated support for her administration in the wake of bribery allegations surrounding the botched $329-million national broadband network project.

Claudio added that the Commission on Elections has recognized Lakas as the dominant majority party.

Among those present in the meeting were former president Fidel Ramos, Lakas chairman emeritus and Speaker Prospero Nograles, Lakas party president.

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Written by joelguinto

ThuUTC2009-01-29T07:36:49+00:00UTC01bUTCThu, 29 Jan 2009 07:36:49 +0000 22, 2006 at 12:45 am01

Posted in Uncategorized

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