Arroyo can run for Congress: court

The Philippines' Supreme Court ruled that President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo may seek a seat in the lower house of Congress in May's elections, rejecting a petition by an opposition lawmaker.

Arroyo, who became leader in 2001 after a popular uprising that removed Joseph Estrada, cannot stand for the presidency again, but she hopes to wield power as speaker of the House of Representatives. As speaker, she would have the power to initiate impeachment proceedings against the president as well as block the administration's legislative agenda.

Arroyo's critics also fear the move is part of a plan to change the constitution and install her as prime minister by 2016.

A spokesman for the court said justices voted unanimously to dismiss a petition from a left-wing lawmaker to reverse an earlier ruling by the election agency allowing Arroyo to run for a congressional seat.

 

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