Posted by: JWP | 02/11/2010

Govt panel rejects Islamist parliament

Govt panel rejects Muslim parliament

Manila Standard Today 02/01/10

THE government has turned down the Moro Islamic Liberation Front’s proposal for a parliamentary system for Muslim Mindanao because the Constitution allows only a presidential system of government.

Antonio La Vina, legal adviser of the government peace panel, said over the weekend that the MILF panel, led by Mohagher Iqbal, broached the idea of a parliamentary system for the Moro homeland in Mindanao during formal peace talks in Kuala Lumpur hosted by the Malaysian government.

“They prefer a parliamentary system, but that is not possible under the present Constitution which provides for a presidential system,” Lavinia told reporters.

Under a parliamentary scheme, the governor of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao would not be elected directly by the voters but would be chosen from the members of the Regional Legislative Assembly who will be elected at large.

La Vina said government negotiators were surprised when the MILF panel proposed the shift because the rebel group was widely believed to favor a federal system.

“We are inclined to offer them the highest form of autonomy that is possible under the Constitution,” he said.

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