EC targets 70pc turnout in Rantau by-election

Hundreds of Barisan Nasional supporters are seen gathered near the Rantau by-election nomination centre at SJKC Bandar Sri Sendayan March 30, 2019. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Hundreds of Barisan Nasional supporters are seen gathered near the Rantau by-election nomination centre at SJKC Bandar Sri Sendayan March 30, 2019. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

SEREMBAN, March 30 — The Election Commission (EC) is targeting 70 per cent of the voters to cast their ballots in the Rantau by-election on April 13.

EC deputy chairman Azmi Sharom however said the turnout percentage may rise as seen in the Semenyih by-election.

“Semenyih was 73 per cent, maybe it could be even more, so it is a challenge to the people of Rantau. EC hopes voters would exercise their rights and responsibilities,” he told a media conference after the nomination of candidates for the Rantau by-election here today.

Azmi said several aspects of improvements had been implemented in earlier by-elections including adding 11 new channels to polling centres with large number of voters from 44 channels to 55 channels. 

“There will be two channels for voters aged 60 and above with an additional 30 minutes voting time from 8am to 5.30pm compared to 8am to 5pm earlier, “ he said.

Azmi said 541 disabled voters identified and registered with the Welfare Department would be voting at channel 1.

“EC will broadcast vote counting through live streaming via Facebook by taking into consideration its suitability at one channel in a selected voting centre as exposure and awareness to the people on the process of vote counting in an election,” he said.

Azmi said the results of the by-election are expected to be announced before 10pm on polling day.

“Apart from that, EC has also selected 137 observers from 15 organisations comprising government agencies, non-governmental organisations, organisations and individuals eligible to monitor the election process for this by-election.

“For the purpose of monitoring campaign activities during the official campaign period, EC has also set up four Election Campaign Enforcement Teams (PP-KPR) in line with the legal provisions under Section 27B of the Election Offences Act 1954,” he said.  

He said the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has also opened an operations room in the Rantau by-election and it would also conduct observation in the field.

Commenting on the process of the nomination of candidates today, Azmi said it proceeded smoothly. — Bernama