Two years into the three-year mandate of a transitional authority tasked with governing a long-troubled corner of the southern Philippines, its chief minister, Al Haj Murad Ebrahim, is pushing to extend the term of his interim administration. The transitional authority’s 80 members were appointed to lead the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, or BARMM, in 2019, as part of a peace deal the Philippine government signed with Muslim rebels fighting for independence in Mindanao. The extension, if approved, would postpone a scheduled vote for the region’s first democratically elected parliament from May 2022, as originally foreseen by the transition agreement, until 2025.

Ebrahim is also chairman of the 40,000-strong Moro Islamic Liberation Front, or MILF, which fought a four-decade separatist war against the Philippine government before negotiating to demobilize in exchange for regional autonomy. His proposal…

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