The left currents in the Philippines and the Duterte presidency
Sunday 25 September 2016, by ROUSSET Pierre
The election to the presidency of Rodrigo Duterte revealed and amplified the crisis of the political system in the Philippines, opening a period of uncertainty which is still far from over. Before and after the elections of May 9, 2016, the various forces of the left had to take a position regarding a marginal candidate whose victory seemed for a long time inconceivable, but who received massive popular support, to the point of completely transforming the electoral contest. In fact, the future of the left is to a large extent being determined today.
The new president has a discourse (crudely) marking a cleavage and he cultivates political ambivalence. For some currents (especially the Communist Party of the Philippines, CPP, Mao-Stalinist) Duterte may “fall to the left.” For others, he is already falling to the right by resorting to extrajudicial executions in his “war on drugs” and brandishing the spectre of martial law. All of them, however, are trying to advance their causes by taking advantage of the campaign promises of the elected candidate, of a chaotic domestic situation and of real opportunities such as the commitment to the peace negotiations in a country marked by armed conflicts that have lasted for fifty years.
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