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Wednesday, April 29, 1998 Published at 07:53 GMT 08:53 UK

World: Asia-Pacific

Imelda Marcos quits poll for "sake of peace"
image: [ Tearful farewell: Imelda Marcos tells reporters she will stand down as a presidential candidate ]
Tearful farewell: Imelda Marcos tells reporters she will stand down as a presidential candidate

Imelda Marcos, the former first lady of the Philippines, has announced she will withdraw from next month's presidential election.

Imelda Marcos' tearful withdrawal from the Presidential elections
In a statement, the widow of the deposed president, Ferdinand Marcos, said she wanted to help prevent the campaign becoming emotional and violent.

The withdrawal of Mrs Marcos, who had been trailing in opinion polls, reduces to 10 the number of candidates.

... on her sense of injustice (0'36")
Speaking to reporters with tears in her eyes, Mrs Marcos said: "To save the Filipino people from the ultimate injustice of a possible bloody election, I, Imelda Romualdez Marcos now withdraw from the May 11, 1998 presidential election.

She alluded to heightening tension in the country in advance of the May election.

She said she was withdrawing "before the situation explodes to an extremely violent election when even the Comelec [Commission on Elections]... had predicted a failure of elections and it is helpless to prevent fraud."

Mrs Marcos made the announcement outside a court where she was due to submit documents relating to legal case filed against her.

Recent surveys put the main opposition contender, Jose Estrada, as front-runner, ahead of President Ramos' preferred successor, Jose de Venecia.

President Ramos is barred under the constitution from seeking a second term in office.

Mrs Marcos's only son, Ferdinand Junior, said his mother had thought long and hard about bowing out.

"I knew she was thinking about it very hard because the opposition should present a good united front against the administration. This is her effort to achieve that," he said.

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