MANILA – Ranking government officials on Wednesday hailed the passage of the Bangsamoro Electoral Code, which would allow peaceful and credible polls from 2025 and beyond.
The Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) Parliament passed on March 8 the Bangsamoro Electoral Code, also known as the Bangsamoro Autonomy Act No. 35.
“We extend our warmest congratulations to the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) Parliament for the passage of the Bangsamoro Autonomy Act No. 35, otherwise known as the Bangsamoro Electoral Code, on March 08, 2023,” read a joint statement signed by Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Chief Minister Ahod Balawag, Defense Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., and acting Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity Isidro Purisima.
The unanimous enactment of the electoral code – 64 affirmative votes, 0 negative votes, and 0 abstentions – reflects the “strong commitment and unity” of the BTA to provide a law that would enable peaceful and credible elections, it added.
It will allow democratic participation in the local and regional elections and encourage the formation of “genuinely principled” political parties across the Bangsamoro, with guaranteed representations from women, youth, indigenous people, settler communities, traditional leaders, and the Ulama.
The electoral code also introduced other provisions in the parliamentary electoral system with rules on changing political party affiliations, coalition-building, regional party funding, and prosecution on election offenses, such as vote-buying and vote-selling.
The law also prohibits the regional political party’s nomination of candidates related within the second degree of consanguinity and affinity.
“We thank the members of the BTA for paving the way for a more democratic Bangsamoro – one that reflects the unique identity of the region, one that aspires to unite people together and one that aims to turn the dreams of its constituents into reality,” the joint statement read. (PNA)