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Last Updated: Sunday, 20 May 2007, 14:46 GMT 15:46 UK
Coin toss decides Philippine poll
Map of the Philippines
Two candidates in the Philippines who got the same number of votes in a local election have settled the issue of who won by tossing a coin.

Bryan Byrd Bellang and Benjamin Ngeteg tied for the last of eight council seats in Bontoc, a town some 280km (175 miles) north of Manila.

They agreed to the coin toss, set down in local election rules. Mr Bellang called heads and won the seat.

Crowds in the town hall clapped as the two men shook hands after the result.

"I asked them if they wanted to break the tie by tossing a coin or drawing lots, and somebody in the crowd wondered if I was cracking a joke," election supervisor Mary Umaming told the Associated Press news agency.

"I said those options were in the rules, and they agreed to flip a coin."

Provincial elections supervisor Dennis Dimalnat said that the two candidates had set a refreshing example.

"I hope others would see the beauty of this kind of peaceful resolution," he told AP.

Nationwide, Monday's local polls were marred by violence. In total, about 87,000 candidates were contesting nearly 18,000 positions.

Police said that dozens of people died over the three-month election period and at least three people were killed on polling day itself. Observers in some areas spoke of voter intimidation and electoral fraud.

Philippines vote draws to a close
14 May 07 |  Asia-Pacific
Dynasties dominate Philippines poll
14 May 07 |  Asia-Pacific
Philippines elections: Voters' views
13 May 07 |  Asia-Pacific
Country profile: The Philippines
28 Mar 07 |  Country profiles

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