The Philippines: Lucky Sevens

The opposition faces a split

To President Ferdinand E. Marcos, seven is a lucky number. Members of the 200-seat National Assembly were well aware of that last week as they witnessed the introduction of Cabinet Bill No. 7, the enabling legislation for snap presidential elections that the Filipino leader announced earlier this month. The bill proposed an unusual length for the campaign: 57 days. In place of the Jan. 17 election date that Marcos had initially suggested for the balloting, Bill No. 7 proposed another one: Feb. 7. Admitted the President's Political Affairs Minister, Leonardo Perez: "We are superstitious."

The move showed Marcos at his wiliest....

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