Bangkok, Oct 29 (EFE).- The Philippine government has signed a law to defer the first elections in the Bangsamoro autonomous region from May 2023 to May 2025.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque told reporters that the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) would continue to be the interim government in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in the Muslim Mindanao region.
The interim government, comprising of former guerrillas, had sought more time to organize the regular elections.
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte signed the law on Thursday to postpone the polls.
The president, however, may appoint 80 new interim members of the BTA who will serve until June 30, 2025, or until the election of their successors, Roque said.
The interim government had sought more time for the polls to complete transitional programs and projects for the constituents hampered by the coronavirus disease.
The Philippine government and the country’s largest Muslim guerrilla group signed the peace accord in 2014 to end decades of armed conflict in the restive south.
The then-president Benigno Aquino and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front inked the accord after the guerrillas agreed to give up their armed struggle and demand for independence in exchange for the creation of an autonomous region under their rule.
The peace agreement was ratified by the Muslim-majority community in the southern Philippines in a plebiscite in January 2019.
The accord replaced the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao with a regional government, greater financial autonomy, a parliament, and its police and judicial system. EFE