GE13: Just when will nomination and polling be?

KUCHING: Today the Election Commission (EC) will decide on the nomination and polling dates for the 13th general election.

In the long run-up to the polls, there have been many guesses regarding these dates.

Speculations, in fact, grew in intensity when Parliament was dissolved last Wednesday.

But before the guessing game ends today, The Star asked several political leaders what they thought would be the best dates for what is expected to be the hottest elections the country has seen in years.

While polling could be held within 60 days after Parliament dissolution, predictions all seem to point roughly to the same dates.

Looking at it from a legal perspective was Santubong incumbent Datuk Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar, who is Parliament Deputy Speaker.

He said taking into account the term of the previous general election in 2008, the EC would issue the election writ on April 11 followed by nomination a week later.

“Nomination is likely to be on April 17 (Wednesday). Given the campaign period of 11 days, then polling would most likely fall on April 28 (Sunday). This is my prediction. No feng shui and no crystal ball,” said Wan Junaidi.

SUPP president Datuk Seri Peter Chin was confident that everything would be done quickly.

“Normally the EC is quite fast about the time taken between their meeting and nomination day. So as a wild guess I venture to say nomination day may be a week away after their Wednesday meeting.

“This is the sort of timing that SUPP is working on now. I may be dead wrong but that’s my guess,” he said.

SWP president Larry Sng predicted that polling could be on April 27 which is a Saturday.

“EC had always fixed polling day on a weekend. So I am guessing (polling) April 27 (Saturday) or 28 (Sunday).”

“By then harvesting season should be over and the weekend is when most people are available. As for nomination my guess would be April 16 (Tuesday),” he said.

During the 2008 parliamentary elections, nomination was on Feb 24, which was a Sunday, and polling was on March 8, Saturday, giving a campaign period of 13 days.

PRS president Tan Sri Dr James Masing said he did not agree with the polling date falling on a Sunday when Christians go to church.

“Voting date, I cannot guess. Just make sure nomination and polling are not on Sunday like in 2008 when nomination was on Sunday.

“Christians go to church. It’s a holy day for Christians, I believe,” he said.

When asked how a Sunday date would affect the votes, Masing said: “It will affect negatively against Barisan.”

State PKR vice-chairman See Chee How opined that if Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak wanted to relate the polling date with his lucky number 11, then polling could be either on April 30 or May 11.

His equation: April 30, 2013 is 4+3+1+3 equals to 11.

“However, it is still up to the EC. The last general election, EC announced the dates four days before the nomination. It can be in the coming weekend,” said See.

Najib could even drag polling to May 11 because the deadline to hold the elections was May 26, he said.

See, however, was quick to add that for Pakatan as a whole, the dates were of no concern as they had been ready for a long time and the people had been anxiously waiting for too long.