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Blickwechsel Philippinen: A Popular Strongman Gains More Power, 2019

The Philippines concluded a high-stakes midterm elections in May 2019, that many consider a critical turning point in our nation’s history. While the Presidency was not on the line, and Rodrigo Duterte himself was not on the ballot, the polls were seen as a referendum on his presidency.

Former PNP Chief Bato dela Rosa and President Duterte

In midterm elections, voters have historically favored candidates backed by a popular incumbent and rejected those supported by unpopular ones. Although the results of the 2019 election continue this tradition, the complete shut out of the opposition in the Senate is a rare phenomenon in the Philippines. In his Blickwechsel, Joseph Purugganan analyses the dynamics behind the midterm elections and offers some explanations.

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