GE14: Polling On May 1?

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KUALA LUMPUR, Apr 7 – The date for the dissolution of the Parliament may have been announced, but political analysts continue to take the guessing game to another level. They are predicting that the 14th General Election (GE14) would be held between April 29 and May 1.

Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) geopolitic strategist Associate Prof Dr Azmi Hassan said based on previous elections, the average time needed by the Election Commission (EC) to hold the general election was only 25 days from the dissolution of the Parliament.

“My best guess is 25 days from now … it will not extend until Ramadan and this is after taking into consideration the minimum campaign period of 11 days,” he told Bernama when contacted here today.

As the Parliament will be dissolved on April 7, and given the average time of 25 days needed by the EC to put everything in place as predicted by Azmi, the polling day may fall on May 1, which is also Workers’ Day and a public holiday in Malaysia.

“It’s not a problem for the polling to be held on a public holiday. In fact, it is even better as more voters will come out and cast their votes. This situation also suits the current sentiment of the public who are eager to vote, especially among the 1.6 million new voters. I anticipate over 80% voter turnout for the GE14,” he explained.

Meanwhile, National Council of Professors’ Political, Security and International Affairs Cluster head, Prof Datuk Dr Mohamed Mustafa Ishak said the nomination was usually held within 10 to 14 days after the dissolution of the Parliament, and hence most probably to be set on April 20. He said the 10 to 14-day period was deemed adequate for all political parties to finalise their lists of candidates and for all the candidates to get prepared.

“I predict the polling to be held 10 or 11 days after the nomination, which is either on April 29 or 30. I’m sure that the EC will be able to get everything ready for the general election in just a month,” he said.

Echoing similar prediction, Prof Dr Sivamurugan Pandian of University Sains Malaysia’s School of Social Sciences said he was going for the minimum campaign period of 11 days as he believed all political parties had been campaigning since the conclusion of the 2013 general election.

“They never stop campaigning. The longer it (campaign period) is, the more issues will arise. As for the nomination day, it will normally take between 10 to 14 days after the dissolution of Parliament to be held,” the political sociologist added. — Bernama

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