'Popular' Imelda Marcos seeks comeback as mayor

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The Independent Online

Imelda Marcos, the flamboyant widow of the former Philippine dictator, may run for mayor of Manila in next year's local elections.

Although Mrs Marcos, 77, has kept a low profile in recent years, she is popular in Manila's shanty towns and once served as governor of the capital, whichcould help her win, her daughter, Imee Marcos, said. Mrs Marcos was also crowned Manila's beauty queen in the 1950s.

Those said to be eyeing the mayor's post include two opposition senators and a wealthy businessman.

Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos and their closest allies were driven out of the presidential palace by a non-violent uprising in 1986. At the height of her husband's power, the first lady gained notoriety for her extravagant shopping and attending glitzy parties amid the Philippines' poverty.

The 1,220 pairs of shoes found in the palace astounded the world and became a symbol of excess.

Ferdinand Marcos's successor, Corazon Aquino, accused him of stealing billions of dollars in his 20-year rule and ordered many of his assets to be seized.

The Marcoses fled to Hawaii, where Ferdinand died in 1989. His wife returned in 1990 and ran unsuccessfully for president twice. Although faced with 901 criminal and civil lawsuits, Mrs Marcos was elected to Congress once.

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