D-Day: EC to hold special meeting to iron out important dates for GE15

THE Election Commission (EC) will hold a special meeting at 10am today (Oct 20) to decide the important days for the 15th General Election (GE15). 

The meeting will be chaired by EC chairman Tan Sri Abdul Ghani Salleh, and according to news reports, the EC is expected to announce the date for the issuing of the election writ, nomination day, early voting day, polling day and the electoral roll to be used for GE15 at noon. 

The special meeting will be held following the dissolution of the 14th Parliament as announced by caretaker prime minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob on Oct 10 after receiving consent from the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah. 

The EC is also scheduled to announce the important dates for the N66 Bugaya by-election in Semporna, Sabah, which is expected to be held simultaneously with GE15. 

The Bugaya seat fell vacant following the death of its incumbent Manis Muka Mohd Darah on Nov 17, 2020, but the by-election was postponed due to the proclamation of emergency to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

On Oct 7, the King consented to the revocation of six ordinances and proclamations of emergency promulgated in 2020 that prevented by-elections from being held in Batu Sapi, Gerik and Bugaya amid the COVID-19 pandemic, effective last Oct 6. 

Following the dissolution of Parliament, Ismail Sabri had recommended that states, except Sabah, Sarawak, Melaka and Johor, which have not yet reached maturity, dissolve their respective assemblies to enable state and parliamentary elections to be held at the same time. 

Sabah, Melaka, Sarawak and Johor held their state elections on September 2020, November 2021, December 2021 and March 2022 respectively. 

Earlier this month, Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim announced that the three Pakatan Harapan-led states – Selangor, Negri Sembilan and Penang – will not dissolve its state assemblies should GE15 be held. 

PAS similarly announced that it would not seek the dissolution of the assemblies of states under its rule – Kelantan, Terengganu and Kedah – for a simultaneous election with the national polls. 

Only Perak, Pahang and Perlis have dissolved their state assemblies to allow the state elections to be held simultaneously with GE15.  

Meanwhile, Ismail Sabri said last week that GE15 will still proceed even if several states refuse to dissolve their respective legislative assemblies, saying that every state has the right to dissolve its state assembly at any time. – Oct 20, 2022 

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