EXECUTIVE SUMMARYTalk of charter change refuses to die. While we see the chances of"cha-cha" succeeding following a regular path in Congress as rather slim,we cannot ignore warnings from informed people about the probability ofanother, less peaceful route. With much at stake for those hoping to stayin power, aggressive action up until the time when cha-cha becomesimpossible to pull off, or right up to the scheduled 2010 elections, cannotbe discounted. Clearly, this is a high-stakes strategy with attendantpolitical risks.
In this report, we hazard a guess of the possible successors to thePresident supposing elections indeed push through. While conditions arestill very fluid with many aspirants yet to declare their plans, the ruleof thumb pretty much still is ? as it had been in the recent past ? anycandidate of a unified opposition will overwhelmingly win the vote. Forsimilar reasons, any candidate of the administration will have to come upwith a complex play.
The country meanwhile has begun to feel the real effects of the globalcredit crunch via a plunge in exports and growing skittishness about theoutlook for jobs. With relatively low export exposure, the country issomewhat shielded from the global downturn from this end. However, it maynot be so resistant to a remittance slowdown, which we no longer seegrowing this year, pulling away a vital support to growth.
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