PUTRAJAYA: Despite insisting that he has no clue as to when the general election will be called, Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi hinted that the dissolution of Parliament will be after the tabling of the Election Commission’s (EC) redelineation proposal.
The Deputy Prime Minister gave a rundown to the media on what is currently happening in the Dewan Rakyat, which will be in session until April 5 while Dewan Negara will start its meeting on Thursday.
He said lawmakers were now debating on the motion of thanks on the Royal Address to be followed by winding up by ministers and the tabling of Bills.
“Then we will table the motion on the proposed redelineation. After it has been debated and passed, it will be gazetted upon receiving the Royal assent,” he said at a luncheon dialogue with top editors from print and electronic media houses as well as publication permit holders.
“After that, Parliament will be dissolved and the EC will announce the nomination and polling dates. This is all that I can tell you because this is official information,” he said.
Dr Ahmad Zahid, however, has no clue as to when the Parliament will be dissolved.
Talk is that Parliament would be dissolved sometime between the end of March and early April. Its current five-year term will end on June 24.
The Deputy Prime Minister is confident that the proposed redelineation will be passed as the number of Barisan Nasional MPs – with 132 lawmakers – is more than the 111 simple majority needed.
The simple majority is 111 votes as there are currently 220 lawmakers. The Dewan Rakyat has 222 parliamentarians but two – Jelebu MP Datuk Zainudin Ismail and Paya Besar MP Datuk Abdul Manan Ismail – passed away recently.
He also said once passed by the Dewan Rakyat, the motion would not be brought to Dewan Negara.
While he did not elaborate, Parliament experts said the redelineation of the parliamentary and state constituencies would be enforced immediately once it received the royal assent and signature of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
The EC said last week that it had submitted its final report on the redelineation of electoral boundaries for parliamentary and state constituencies to the Prime Minister.
Its chairman Tan Sri Mohd Hashim Abdullah said the redelineation exercise, as provided for under Article 113(10) of the Federal Constitution, has been completed.
On March 2, the EC received the nod from the Court of Appeal to submit the report to the Prime Minister after it unanimously dismissed an application for a restraining order by the Selangor government.