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Duterte: No Extended Term, No Canceled Elections

FILE - Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte delivers a speech at the start of a banquet hosted by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Tokyo, Oct. 30, 2017.

The president of the Philippines said he is not interested in extending his six-year term or canceling elections next year.

Rodrigo Duterte said in an interview with news website MindaNews that “there will be no suspension of elections and there will be no term extension, especially for me.” Duterte’s term ends in 2022.

The president talked with Minda about his vision for a Philippine federal government. He said he envisions a structure along the lines of the French government with “a strong president” who would be “as powerful as the prime minister.”

Another change the president would like to see is the transformation of the Senate and the House of Representatives into one chamber with 50 lawmakers who can quickly enact laws.

Duterte commissioned a 25-member Consultative Committee (ConCom) in 2016 to develop a blueprint for a federal government for the Philippines. He told Minda that he is still waiting for the committee’s draft. However, Minda noted that Duterte has yet to appoint any members to the committee.

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