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Sunday August 10, 2008

DAP polls set for record battle

KUALA LUMPUR: While athletes are battling for Olympic glory in Beijing, China, an Olympics of another kind is taking place in the DAP.

A whopping 58 national leaders are vying for 20 Central Executive Committee (CEC) positions at the party’s Triennial National Congress scheduled here for Aug 23 and 24.

The original number had stood at 73, but 15 of them, including 11 state assemblymen and three MPs, pulled out of the race when the withdrawal period closed on Friday.

“The three MPs are Fong Po Kuan (Batu Gajah), Sim Tong Hin (Kota Melaka) and Charles Santiago (Klang),” DAP organising secretary Tan Kok Wai said yesterday.

Party delegates would elect the CEC members on Aug 23, and the elected CEC members would then choose who among them would hold top party posts such as chairman, deputy chairman, vice-chairman and secretary-general.

Several new faces in the fray include Puchong MP Gobind Singh Deo, who is the son of party chairman Karpal Singh, Jelutong MP Jeff Ooi, Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua, Serdang MP Teo Nie Ching and Subang Jaya state assemblyman Hannah Yeoh.

This election is touted to be the stiffest ever with the record number of candidates contesting the CEC seats.

DAP has 90,707 members, including 10,000 who joined after the March 8 general election. However, only 952 delegates nationwide are allowed to attend the congress and cast their ballots.

For the first time, the party would allow the media to cover the entire congress proceedings – a departure from previous practices where the media were only allowed to cover the speeches of party leaders during the opening ceremony. – Bernama


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