Comelec: Shanghai special polls to push through, but no date yet

Angelica Y. Yang - Philstar.com
Comelec: Shanghai special polls to push through, but no date yet
Officers wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) stand on a street during a Covid-19 coronavirus lockdown in the Jing'an district in Shanghai on April 23, 2022.

MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) said that the special elections in China's financial center, Shanghai, will push through, but did not specify any date yet as they are waiting for Chinese authorities to lift the COVID-19-induced lockdown in the area. 

Out of the 26 electronically-generated certificates of canvass (COCs) from overseas precincts, 25 have been received by the Comelec, with the exception of the Hong Kong precinct that covers Hong Kong, Macau and China, Comelec spokesperson John Rex Laudiangco said in a press conference on Friday. 

"Hong Kong and Macau are okay. The problem is mainland China because there is a lockdown in Shanghai, hindi po macomplete ng 100% kasi po wala po tayong election sa Shanghai (we didn't have an election yet in Shanghai). They are still under strict lockdown," he said, adding that the Commission en banc is mulling over issuing an order for the COCs of Hong Kong and other parts of mainland China to arrive ahead of Shanghai's special polls.

Despite the setback, the poll body will be going through with the special elections in Shanghai.

"Definitely, we will proceed with the Shanghai special elections, hindi po kaming magdisenfranchise ng voters. Karapatan nila iyan (so they will not be disenfranchised. It's their right.)" he said. 

However, he did not give a definite date as they will have to wait until Shanghai lifts its lockdown. Laudiangco added that they hope they will be allowed to conduct the elections in the area through the postal service. 

Citing Comelec data, Laudiangco said that there are 1,991 overseas voters based in Shanghai.

The lockdown in China's financial center, caused by the spike in COVID-19 infections, started out as a phased scheme on March 28. Locals were prohibited from leaving their homes and underwent rounds of nucleic acid tests for COVID-19. Offices and businesses were asked to suspend operations.

RELATED: 7 more Filipinos in Shanghai positive for COVID-19

Earlier, Comelec announced that it will be holding special polls in 14 barangays in three municipalities based in Lanao Del Sur, after a failure of elections were declared in those places due to incidents of violence and issues with vote counting machines.

The poll body has, so far, canvassed 121 COCs out of 173. 

The national and local elections were held on May 9.








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