Rodrigo Duterte, the Philippine president, has agreed to be the ruling political party’s vice-presidential candidate in next year’s elections, effectively paving the way to stay in power beyond his term if his party wins.
The PDP-Laban party made the announcement before a national assembly on Sept. 8 where it is also expected to endorse Duterte’s aide and incumbent senator, Christopher “Bong” Go, to be its presidential candidate in the 2022 poll.
Duterte was making “the sacrifice” and heeding “the clamour of the people,” Karlo Nograles, the PDP-Laban party’s spokesman, said.
In the Philippines, the president is limited to one six-year term and Duterte’s term is due to end by June next year. However, his vice-presidential run is seen by political observers as a sly way to the presidency. Duterte is unpopular but his party could still stay in power.
Duterte’s critics believe he will make a play for retaining power through the number two post, by taking over as president in the event Go wins and then resigns.
Go has been the 76-year-old’s closest aide for over 20 years, when Duterte was a congressman representing Davao City in the south of the Philippines.