Malaysia to vote on May 5

By Zuhrin Azam Ahman and Joseph Sipalan | Source: ANN

Malaysians will go to the polls on May 5, which is a Sunday, the Election Commission (EC) announced.

Nominations for the 222 parliamentary and 505 state seats have been set for April 20, thus giving political parties a campaign period of 15 days, two days more than in the 12th general election.

Voting for military and police personnel and their spouses as well as absentee voters living abroad, meanwhile, has been fixed for April 30.

The EC set today to issue the writ of election and tomorrow for the notice of election.

A total of 13,268,002 Malaysians are eligible to vote in the 13th general election, said EC chairman Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof who spoke live over RTM and TV3. This compares with 10,922,139 for the 2008 elections.

He earlier chaired a special meeting of the EC’s seven-member panel at the commission’s headquarters here yesterday.

At the time of its dissolution on April 3, the Dewan Rakyat had 135 MPs from Barisan Nasional, 29 from the Democratic Action Party, 22 from Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party, 23 from People’s Justice Party (PKR), one each from Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM), and Malaysian People’s Welfare Party (Kita) and 10 Independents.

One seat was vacant after the death of PAS Titiwangsa MP Dr Lo’ Lo’ Ghazali in 2011. No by-election was held because she died three years after the first Parliament sitting.

The legislative assemblies of all states, except Sarawak, were dissolved by April 5 for state polls.

Sarawak held its state elections in 2011 and the mandate will only run out in 2016.

The EC received the declaration by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah on the dissolution of the Dewan Rakyat (Parliament) on April 3.

Abdul Aziz said the number of voters was based on the electoral roll to be gazetted today, with 12,992,661 ordinary and 275,341 advance voters.

“The advance voters comprise 161,251 military personnel and their spouses, 111,136 police personnel and their spouses, and 2,954 absentee voters who live abroad,” he said.

He also said there were 2,345,863 new voters, adding that they were not all young, with many old citizens who had only recently registered for the polls.

Abdul Aziz said the panel had taken several factors into consideration when deciding on the dates, including ensuring that none of them clash with any significant cultural or religious event in the country.

“We also checked with the Meteorological Department and the weather forecast is positive (for all the dates),” he said.

There will be 222 returning officers with 1,088 assistants.

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