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Exclusive Interview:
Sir Terry Leahy, CEO, Tesco Plc

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  July- August 2009

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Sir Terry Leahy, CEO, Tesco Plc For Sir Terry, Tesco’s core purpose is ‘to deliver value for customers to earn their lifetime loyalty’. There is no mention of products, no reference to the bottom line or market share, but a clear focus on people - the customers.

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Election fever is rising in the Philippines as the country’s poll agency announced a $150-million deal, removing any doubts on automating next year's polls.

"No more problem, the automation is pushing through," Jose Melo, head of the Commission on Elections, told reporters after a contract to supply 82,200 vote counting machines was signed with Barnados-based Smartmatic and local partner Total Information Management (TIM).

However, lawmakers, political groups and analysts still fear chaos under an automated poll process due to potential machine breakdowns and delays in results transmission, which could lead to a failed election and political limbo.

Under an automated process, poll results will be available within two days of voting instead of the weeks it takes currently, the election agency said.

Past Philippines election returns were manually counted and took several days, sometimes months to finish, allowing cheating and other election fraud in the process.

Earlier, the Philippine government through special legislation by Congress, passed an automation law starting with the 2010 national elections and providing an appropriation of more than 11 billion pesos for its implementation.

A group of lawyers had questioned the legality of the contract before the Supreme Court saying there were alleged violations of procurement laws, but the poll body was confident there would be no more hindrances to the automation of the 2010 general elections.

The election agency remains unmoved insisting it was ready to address the legal challenge to the automation project.

"We are confident that there will be no temporary restraining order. We will be able to answer the petition properly," the poll agency chief said.


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