Blog Lecture No. 34: Postponement and Failure of Elections

This will be a very short blog lecture…

What is the legal basis for postponement or declaration of failure of elections?

The bases can be found in Section 5 and 6 of Batas Pambansa Blg. 881, otherwise known as the “Omnibus Election Code,” as amended, that states:

Sec. 5. Postponement of election. – When for any serious cause such as violence, terrorism, loss or destruction of election paraphernalia or records, force majeure, and other analogous causes of such a nature that the holding of a free, orderly and honest election should become impossible in any political subdivision, the Commission, motu proprio or upon a verified petition by any interested party, and after due notice and hearing, whereby all interested parties are afforded equal opportunity to be heard, shall postpone the election therein to a date which should be reasonably close to the date of the election not held, suspended or which resulted in a failure to elect but not later than thirty days after the cessation of the cause for such postponement or suspension of the election or failure to elect.

Sec. 6. Failure of election. – If, on account of force majeure, violence, terrorism, fraud, or other analogous causes the election in any polling place has not been held on the date fixed, or had been suspended before the hour fixed by law for the closing of the voting, or after the voting and during the preparation and the transmission of the election returns or in the custody or canvass thereof, such election results in a failure to elect, and in any of such cases the failure or suspension of election would affect the result of the election, the Commission shall, on the basis of a verified petition by any interested party and after due notice and hearing, call for the holding or continuation of the election not held, suspended or which resulted in a failure to elect on a date reasonably close to the date of the election not held, suspended or which resulted in a failure to elect but not later than thirty days after the cessation of the cause of such postponement or suspension of the election or failure to elect.

What is the difference between the two?

Simply put, declaration of failure of elections results in the calling of new elections while postponement merely defers the holding of the same elections at a later date.

What are the causes for postponment of elections?

They are for serious causes such as:

1. Violence,
2. Terrorism,
3. Loss or destruction of election paraphernalia or records,
4. Force majeure,
5. Other analogous causes

These must be of such a nature that the holding of a free, orderly and honest election should become impossible in any political subdivision (like the ARMM?).

What are the causes for the declaration of failure of elections?

They are:

1. Force majeure,
2. Violence,
3. Terrorism,
4. Fraud,
5. Other analogous causes

Anything else I should know about?

The Commission of Elections (“COMELEC”), motu propio (on its own motion) or upon petition, may postpone elections. Declaration of Elections can only be initiated by petition. The COMELEC cannot, on its own, declare failure of elections.

Notice that “fraud” is not a ground for postponement but outright failure of elections. Of course, fraud already taints the whole process with irregularities and hence, naturally necessitates holding a new one.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s