Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Sarawak CM to seek royal audience on dissolution of state assembly

The ruling GPS coalition says the state legislative assembly will be dissolved on a date chosen by the Agong.

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Sarawak Chief Minister Abang Johari Openg is expected to seek an audience with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong on the dissolution of the state legislative assembly, ahead of the expiry of its tenure next month.

Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) secretary-general Alexander Nanta Linggi said the matter would be decided by the Agong following consultation with state governor Abdul Taib Mahmud.

“The chief minister had an audience with the governor and informed him that under the Sarawak constitution, the tenure of the current state legislative assembly will end on June 6, 2021, five years from the date of its first meeting on June 7, 2016, after the Sarawak election of that year.

“However, this provision of the state constitution has no effect by virtue of the Emergency Ordinance 2021. Thus the dissolution of the assembly will take place on the date that His Majesty decides after consultation with the governor,” he said after attending a GPS Supreme Council meeting chaired by Abang Johari in Kuching today.

Nanta, who is also secretary-general of Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu, said the GPS government was very concerned about the pandemic situation and took seriously the dangers to the safety and lives of Sarawakians.

“GPS’ decision is that to hold an election during Covid-19, at this serious time, with the current spike in number of cases, is risky.

“Furthermore, we are under a state of emergency. So holding an election is not the first thing on the mind of the Sarawak government at the moment,” he said.

According to the Sarawak constitution, a state election must be held within 60 days of the dissolution of the state legislative assembly.

This means that Sarawak would have to hold an election on or before Aug 7 this year.

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