KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 28 — The Election Commission (EC) is ready to call for a general election should the need arises.
Its chairman Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun told Berita Harian that the commission is ever ready.
"The commission's secretariat is always on standby and has a prior plan ready for a general election.
"But I won't deny that in this current context, the EC has not discussed anything in detail (if a general election were to take place)," he told the Malay daily yesterday.
When asked if 18-year-olds can vote if a general election is held this year, Azhar said that has yet to be possible in the nearest time frame.
According Azhar, with regards to that, the implementation would likely take place in the middle of next year.
"But there is a possibility that it could be realised by the end of this year," he added.
On estimation of cost for a general election, he said it a rough estimation would be between RM750 million and RM800 million.
"But the EC has yet to discuss the cost of a general election should it be held in the nearest time frame," he said.
Earlier this week, Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition and its political allies had called for the Parliament to be dissolved, making way for snap polls.
The proposal came about after interim Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad suggested to form a unity government.
The BN coalition has since withdrawn its support for Dr Mahathir, labelling the unity government an act of hypocrisy.
Yesterday, it was reported that Umno said it has begun preparing its election machinery for the possibility of a snap election.
According to party secretary-general Tan Sri Annuar Musa, a circular had been issued with instructions for Umno’s election machinery to be mobilised, together with PAS, under the Muafakat Nasional pact.