The Commission on Elections has cut down the number of senatorial candidates for the 2019 elections from 152 to 82, and moved the release date for the final list of those qualified to run to the third week of January, a spokesman for the poll body said Monday.
“The number of candidates and party-list groups is expected to drop when we release the final list on the third week of January,” Comelec spokesman James Jimenez said.
The release date had been moved back because some candidates and party-list groups that had been disqualified have filed motions for reconsideration that are still being reviewed, he added.
For example, 46 groups have filed motions to be included in the list of party-list groups, which now number 93.
Jimenez said the later release date of the final list would not affect the Comelec’s schedule of activities related to the upcoming elections.
“The printing of the ballots for the 2019 polls will be done as soon as the final list has been released,” Jimenez said.
In the Senate race, the Comelec has disqualified 70 candidates who do not meet the prerequisites, one of which is the ability to sustain a national campaign, he said.
Some 34,000 people are seeking an elective post in the 2019 elections, Comelec records show.
At the same time, Jimenez said the Comelec is considering issuing guidelines on paid political ads in social media to make sure candidates do not spend over the limit allowed by election law.
Candidates for president, vice president, senator, district representative, governor, vice governor, board member, mayor, vice mayor, and councilor may spend P10 per voter. Candidates for party-list representative may spend P3 per voter.