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New date set for declaring president.

Manila A new deadline for the proclamation of the presidential election winner, Senator Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino, was reset from June 15 to June 28 or 29, a day or two before outgoing President Gloria Arroyo steps down on June 30, after a joint Congress session simulated vote counting by machines on May 10, a senior official said.

"If there will be problems, there will be proclamation of a new president and vice-president not later than June 28 or June 29. I will not allow us not to have a new president and vice-president (beyond June 30) even if they hang me," said senate president Juan Ponce Enrile.

The senate president has been criticised for allowing 18 members of a joint Congress to debate on issues of alleged cheating in the May 10 polls instead of fast-tracking the canvassing votes.

Enrile has also succeeded in calling for a simulation of the transmission of election results from the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines in 76,000 polling places, to the city and provincial board of canvassers until they reached the joint Congress which has served as the National Board of Canvassers.

Efficiency

"I want to show the world and the members of the canvassing committee how the PCOS machines run, what the compact flash cards of the machines are for, what they contain, and how election results moved, where they went, including those in the municipal voting centres, provincial canvassing centres.

"This process will make the people understand that it is quite impossible to intercept the results of the elections," Enrile said.

"Our aim is to show that cheating in the May 10 polls was impossible, that the automated polls were credible. We have to end all speculations and erase all doubts on the new system used in the last elections," explained Enrile, adding the moment that the simulation of how the PCOS machines operated is over "we could complete the canvassing of electronically transmitted results just for a day".

Earlier, Senator Joker Arroyo said that further delay has disrupted the canvassing of votes, adding this would further delay the proclamation of the new president and vice president by June 30.

"Even if Senator Aquino III is leading by five million over former President Joseph Estrada, he is not the president if he is not proclaimed by the National Board of Canvassers," Arroyo said.

"We in Congress are canvassers. The certificates of canvasses that were electronically transmitted by the city and provincial board of canvassers to the joint Congress would be the basis of the canvass of the National Board of Canvassers," explained Arroyo.

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Date:Jun 1, 2010
Words:449
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