PUTRAJAYA: Candidates have 11 days to campaign for votes before Malaysians go to the polls on May 9.
This is a few days shorter than the previous general election campaigning period, when parties and their candidates had 15 days.
Eleven days is the minimum requirement the Election Commission (EC) had set as a ruling for the general election.
In announcing the dates, EC chairman Tan Sri Mohd Hashim Abdullah said nomination day will be on April 28 while early voting has been fixed on May 5.
Election writs will be issued today. An EC official said the 18 days from now until nomination day was to allow for preparations.
“Even during by-elections, we need around two weeks to prepare There’s a bigger area to cover, more things to be sent out,” the officer said.
Asked if the indelible ink for polling day has been secured, the officer said it has been ordered.
The amiable and press-friendly EC chairman did not take any questions from the floor but merely read out a statement.
“Campaigning will start from the day of nomination till 11.59pm on May 8,” he said, adding that 445 enforcement teams would be set up to monitor campaigns and candidates’ activities to ensure all election rules are followed.
There will be 222 returning officers and 259,391 public volunteers working throughout the election period.
A total of 8,989 premises will be used as polling centres with 28,995 streams.
The EC estimates the general election will cost RM500mil.
Mohd Hashim said the commission would use the electoral roll as of the fourth quarter of last year, with 14,940,624 eligible voters.
Of this number, there will be 300,255 early voters comprising military and police personnel and their spouses, and 3,653 overseas absent voters.
Fourteen countries from Asean, the Commonwealth, Asia and Europe will be invited to observe the polls.
Mohd Hashim said this is apart from the 14 local NGOs and university representatives that would also be observing.
“Other than those who have been appointed and invited, no other organisation or individuals will be recognised by the commission,” he said.
The observers will be allowed to go to nomination centres and counting stations, as well as observe the process of early voting, he added.
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