New Straits Times
PARLIAMENT MAY BE DISSOLVED BEFORE 20-DAY SITTING ENDS
MPs and analysts think GE14 will be held in early May
PARLIAMENT is expected to be dissolved as soon as the motion on the Election Commission’s (EC) redelineation exercise is passed, paving the way for the 14th General Election (GE14) to be held in early May.
The sixth session of the 13th Parliament sitting was officiated by Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Muhammad V yesterday. The august house is scheduled to convene for 20 days.
Analysts, as well as some members of parliament, believe that the sitting would not be completed, and that once the motion on EC’s redelineation exercise was passed, it would signal the dissolution of Parliament and clear the path for GE14 to be held.
Members of parliament, both from Barisan Nasional and the opposition, predicted that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak would dissolve Parliament as soon as the Dewan Rakyat session ends on April 5, or even before the session was completed.
Baling MP Datuk Seri Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim said there was a possibility that Parliament could be dissolved in two weeks.
“However, we have to wait for the redelineation of electoral borders to be finalised,” he said.
MCA deputy president Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong believed that Parliament would be dissolved in two to three weeks.
Pas vice-president Idris Ahmad said the party leadership predicted that Parliament would be dissolved in the midst of the Dewan Rakyat session.
“It has happened before. So, the possibility is there.
“We (Pas) predict that it will happen as soon as the session ends, or two weeks from now.
“Ramadan is in May. That’s why we think the dissolution will be made halfway through this session.”
Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia, when asked on the possibility that the sitting would end halfway, merely replied that it was the right of the executive.
Parliament will automatically dissolve on June 24, and the election must be held within 60 days of its dissolution.
Based on speculation, GE14 will be held either in mid-April or early May. The 13th General Election was held on Sunday, May 5, 2013.
Najib had hinted that GE14 would be held before July 14.
Political analysts predicted that Parliament would be dissolved as soon as the redelineation of borders was passed in the Dewan Rakyat, with elections to be held in May.
International Islamic University Malaysia lecturer Dr Mazlee Malik said this was based on the fact that the redelineation issue would be the main agenda of the parliamentary sitting.
“As to when Parliament will be dissolved, it will depend on the redelineation issue. I am sure that as soon as that motion is approved, the prime minister will call the election,” he said.
Mazlee said it was highly unlikely that GE14 would be held during Ramadan due to the restrictions it would pose on campaigning, and the fact that the elections had never been held during the fasting month.
However, he said anything could happen, given that the Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar byelections in 2016 were held during the fasting month.
Universiti Malaya’s Centre for Democracy and Elections (UMCEDEL) director Associate Prof Dr Hamidin Abd Hamid said May would be the ideal month to hold GE14.
“I believe that this Parliament sitting will be dissolved midway as soon as the motion on the redelineation is passed. The motion is widely viewed as the green light for the dissolution of Parliament.
“If Parliament is dissolved at the end of the month, EC would have a month to decide on the election date, which could be in early May,” he said.
He said if GE14 was held in early May, the campaigning period might be reduced to ensure that polling day did not fall during Ramadan.