GEORGE TOWN: It is very difficult to select a date for a by-election that pleases everyone, Election Commission (EC) deputy chairman Datuk Wan Ahmad Wan Omar said.
He said there were numerous things that had to be considered, which were overlooked by the public.
“It is very difficult to select a date that makes everyone happy.
“We have to make sure that the palace is satisfied with the days because they have certain events and occasions that they do not want to clash with the by-election.
“We also have to look at the weather. Although it is raining every day in Galas, the Meteorological Department has told us to expect more rain,” he said during a dialogue session at a Transparency International forum on reforming campaign financing here yesterday.
He was responding to reports that the polling date for the Galas by-election would be on Nov 4, which falls on Deepavali eve and coincides with the start of the Haj season.
The nine-day campaign from the nomination date, set for Oct 26, will also start just as the Umno general assembly ends and the PKR elections are in full swing.
Wan Ahmad said the EC had chosen a by-election date which could ensure that candidates had adequate time to campaign and give voters the opportunity to cast their ballots.
He said the date chosen was also to allow the commission enough time to prepare for the election.
“We are avoiding the Umno general assembly as it is a party involved in the election.
“These kind of allowances have also been made in the past. For instance, we held the Permatang Pauh by-election at a date that avoided the PAS assembly in Ipoh,” he said, referring to PAS’ 54th muktamar in 2008.
This year’s Umno general assembly is set to be held from Oct 19 to 23, just days before the Galas nomination day on Oct 26.
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