On January 21 and February 6, registered voters in localities covered by the proposed Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in the Philippines and areas that successfully petitioned for inclusion in the Bangsamoro and their parent government units will go to the polls to vote in the Mindanao plebiscite.
The Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao was founded in 1989 granting limited self-government in the region. However, the desire for a Moro homeland was not met and armed-conflict between Moro groups seeking an independent state in Mindanao and the Government of the Philippines continued. Peace negotiations eventually led to a draft law, the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL), which was ratified in the Philippines Senate and House and signed by President Rodrigo Duterte in July 2018. In the coming month, citizens will vote to approve or reject the BOL, which would establish the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao and provide greater powers of self-government for the region.
To help you understand this important electoral process, the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) provides Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Elections in the Philippines: 2019 Mindanao Plebiscite. IFES FAQs include:
- What is a plebiscite?
- Who can vote in the plebiscite?
- What measures have been taken to ensure a free and fair election?
- What will happen after the plebiscite?