THE LAKAS Tomasino Coalition (Lakas) nearly swept the Central Student Council elections last month, winning five of six posts.

Lakas’ Reinald Vincent dela Cruz won the CSC presidency over Alyansa ng Kristiayong Lakas’ (Aklas) Peter Hans Esguerra and independent Jehn Louie Velandrez. Dela Cruz garnered 7,017 votes, while Esguerra and Velandrez got 6,624 and 5,517.

Last year, the Aklas slate dominated the CSC executive board elections, sweeping all six posts.

Lakas vice-presidential bet Oliver Paul Wilson Chan won over Aklas’ Maria Erika Callanta by 917 votes, 9,910 votes against 8,993.

Aklas’ Elsewhere Rial Perez spoiled the party for Lakas, bumping off Joanne Rae Torres in the treasurer position by 1,356 votes, 9,971 votes against 8,615.

Lakas’ Joyce Antoinette Ventura, Reyner Villaseñor, and John Evan Dominic Regala won the secretary, auditor, and public relations officer posts, respectively.

Meanwhile, Central Commission on Elections (Comelec) Legal Affairs chief Rodolfo Nicholas Jr. said the elections were generally peaceful.

Nicholas also dismissed criticisms that the standard 12-day campaign period needs to be extended.

“I believe that 12 days of campaign is sufficient for parties to make their intentions known,” Nicolas said. “After all, the University has 18 colleges and faculties. Candidates need not spend too much time on a college with a small population.”

Nicholas reacted to statements made in a voter awareness forum last month which said the “short” campaign period prevents candidates from making their presence felt.

But Nicholas said the only standout problems this year were the lack of available campaign modes and venues.

“The University has a tight policy when it comes to putting up posters on campus,” Nicholas said. “The University Secretary-General must approve all posters before they can be posted on bulletin boards on campus.”

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Despite these problems, Nicholas said this year’s elections had a voter turnout of 73 per cent, the highest in five years.

Nicholas said the notion of voter apathy and indifference is still prevalent because students do not feel the benefits of having a student council.

“Some feel that their vote is useless,” he said.

The “abstain” vote in the recent CSC elections ranged from 15 to 22 per cent in different student council positions. Miko L. Morelos

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