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EC mulls extending 60-day period for election after Parliament dissolved

This would give the commission more time to prepare as the number of voters has been increasing each year.

2 minute read
Voters queue at a polling centre for the Padang Serai election in Kulim yesterday. Photo: Bernama
Voters queue at a polling centre for the Padang Serai election in Kulim yesterday. Photo: Bernama

The Election Commission (EC) is looking at the possibility of allowing a grace period of more than 60 days to hold a general election or state election after the Parliament or state assembly is dissolved.

EC chairman Abdul Ghani Salleh said the extended period would be to give the EC enough time to prepare for the election as the number of voters had been increasing every year.

"We will try to extend the duration because currently, the GE must be held within 60 days after Parliament is dissolved. This duration (60 days) has been there for a long time but with the number of voters having increased tremendously, the 60-day period is short.

"We now have 21.1 million voters compared with 14.9 million previously. We must also take into consideration that 18-year-old voters will keep increasing yearly at a rate of 500,000. Therefore we need a longer period," he told reporters in Kulim last night.

Ghani was earlier at the Kulim Hi-Tech Sports Complex Hall where the results of the Padang Serai election were announced.

Ghani said the EC hoped that all six states that have yet to hold elections for state seats would hold them simultaneously.

"It will make things easier, the staff can coordinate everything better. I feel that will be good and in terms of cost, it will be the same," he said.

Asked about the best time to hold the state elections, Ghani said the leaders of the six states, namely Kedah, Penang, Terengganu, Kelantan, Selangor and Negeri Sembilan, should decide to hold them simultaneously.

He said it would cost about RM450 million to hold elections in six states.