KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 19 — The Election Commission (EC) will be in focus tomorrow as it will hold a special meeting to decide on the important dates for the 15th General Election (GE15) following the dissolution of Parliament on October 10.
The meeting will also set the important dates pertaining to the state by-election for Bugaya in Sabah.
It will convene for about two hours from 10am and will be followed by an announcement by EC chairman Tan Sri Abdul Ghani Salleh.
The EC would announce the date for the issuing of the election writ, nomination day, early voting day and polling day.
The number of registered voters, the number of election officers, the number of premises that will be used as polling stations, voting channels, overall allocations and voting guidelines will also be announced.
Previously, elections for state and parliamentary seats were held concurrently nationwide (except Sarawak).
But this time, only Pahang, Perak and Perlis will hold their respective state elections together with the coming general election after they chose to dissolve their state assemblies.
States led by Pakatan Harapan (PH) namely Penang, Negri Sembilan and Selangor as well as PAS-led Terengganu, Kelantan and Kedah did not dissolve their state assemblies.
When caretaker Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced the dissolution of the 14th Parliament, he also recommended that states except Sabah, Sarawak, Melaka and Johor (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.
Pahang was the first state to dissolve its assembly on October 14, followed by Perlis on the same day while Perak announced the dissolution of the state assembly on October 17.
A total of 222 parliamentary seats are up for grabs in the GE15 and there will be 42 state seats contested in Pahang, 15 state seats in Perlis, and 59 state seats in Perak.
The Bugaya seat fell vacant after its representative, Manis Muka Mohd Darah of Warisan, died of a kidney disease on November 17, 2020.
On October 7, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah cancelled six Covid-19 emergency ordinances and proclamations which had prevented by-elections from being held for the Batu Sapi and Gerik parliamentary seats and the Bugaya state seat.
According to EC data as of January, a total of 5.8 million new voters will be added to the current 15.3 million registered voters following the implementation of Automatic Voter Registration (PPSA) on December 15, 2021.
This will put the total number of eligible voters to 21.1 million.
In GE14, the number of registered voters was 14.9 million.
A total of 1.2 million voters aged between 18 and 20 are also automatically registered under the implementation of Undi18. — Bernama