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Voting Ends in Philippine Elections


Polls have closed in the Philippines where at least six people were killed in election-related violence.

Voters Monday cast ballots for parliamentarians and local government officials.

The victims of today's violence died in shootouts and ambushes throughout the country. Some voters were wounded in bomb attacks.

Officials say unidentified attackers also burned down at least one voting station and stole election materials from others.

Despite tight security and a ban on weapons, at least 120 people have been killed since campaigning began a few months ago. VOA's reporter in the Philippines says disrespect for the law, massive poverty, and rivalry among political families led to the deadly fighting.

About 45 million people were eligible to vote Monday for the full House of Representatives, half of the Senate and about 18,000 local and regional government positions.

Local office winners will be known within days. Results from the House and and Senate races could be released in about two weeks.

Public opinion polls ahead of the election indicated President Gloria Arroyo and her supporters are likely to retain control of the House, but the opposition could make gains in the Senate.

Mrs. Arroyo took office in 2001. She is midway through her second, six-year term. Her political opponents have accused her of corruption and fraud in the 2004 election. They have tried to impeach her twice, but the House of Representatives blocked both attempts.

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