World’s only LGBT party fails to win seat in election

Partial returns suggest Ang Ladlad has not gathered enough votes to win a seat in the Philippines' House of Representatives

World’s only LGBT party fails to win seat in election
15 May 2013

The early results for the Philippines’ midterm elections suggest that Ang Ladlad, the world’s only LGBT political party, has failed to win a seat in congress.

Official election results report that the party got 75,913 votes, only 0.37% of the vote. A party needs at least 2% (570,112 votes at this election) of the vote to get a seat under the Philippines’ partylist system.

Eight other parties are reported to have got enough votes to secure seats.

‘For all that has been and to all of you who have served Ang Ladlad Partylist in the past 10 years thank you,’ said the party’s first congressional nominee Bemz Benedito on Facebook. ‘Your votes were not wasted and we fought a good fight.’

‘It is a loss for the filipino LGBTs,’ said ProGay Philippines’ Jomz Malaya. ‘And as a matter of fact, we have doubts regarding the credibility of the Commission of Elections. So to speak now that we are not satisfied with the results. Not only the LGBT sector, but the entire under-represented strata.’

Vote counting for the partylist groups was suspended last night (Tuesday 14 May) to concentrate on counting the votes for Senate. Chair of the Commission of Elections Sixto Brillantes Jr said in a press conference that there were issues with the partylist vote. Twelve groups were suspended in the week before elections (Ang Ladlad wasn’t among them).

In an interview with Gay Star News last November, Benedito was confident that the party could pull the votes needed to secure at least one seat. ‘We are productive citizens. We can help this country,’ she said.

Ang Ladlad has fought for six years to get to the position where they can stand for election. In 2007 and in 2009 the party was denied accreditation. The second time the election commission said the party was ‘immoral’ and a ‘threat to the youth’.

The party challenged the election commission in the Supreme Court, which ruled in their favor, but only three weeks before the 2010 election. Despite that, the party pulled 130,000 votes.

The party-list system aims to ensure that marginalized groups are given a voice in government by reserving 20% of seats in the House of Representatives for parties that represent minorities.  

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