MANILA — The Philippines' leading independent poll-watching group said Monday that it has discovered evidence of minor cheating in the congressional elections by members of President Corazon Aquino's coalition.
But the National Movement for Free Elections and Good Government (NAMFREL) said the cheating was not widespread and there was no evidence of any conspiracy.
The statement was the first independent allegation of fraud in a continuing swarm of protests from candidates beaten in last Monday's Senate and lower house elections.
The official Election Commission said 185 protests had been filed with it. The main rightist opposition grouping has petitioned the Supreme Court to annul the vote.
NAMFREL halted its unofficial count of ballots and said its final report today will include results from about 70% of the country's more than 104,500 precincts.
Aquino candidates are leading in NAMFREL's count for 23 of the 24 Senate seats.