Live telecast for Cameron vote count

PUTRAJAYA: The Election Commis­sion (EC) will broadcast live the vote counting of the Cameron Highlands parliamentary by-election, a historic first.

“This is the first time the EC is doing this in the history of our elections. The live telecast is an initiative by the EC to make the vote-­counting process more transparent,” said EC chairman Azhar Harun.

“As a trial, we are only going to do the live telecast at one voting stream because the Internet infrastructure may be limited at Cameron High­lands. Hopefully, in the future we will be able to increase this,” Azhar said, adding the EC would decide on which voting stream to be used for the live telecast later.

Speaking at a press conference yesterday, he said the EC wanted to ensure transparency, while also educating the public on the electoral process.

Azhar said the vote counting would be broadcast on EC’s social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram.

The Cameron Highlands by-­election will be held on Saturday, Jan 26. There will be 14 days allocated for campaigning, with nomination set for Jan 12 while early voting will be held on Jan 22.

A total of 32,009 registered voters are eligible to vote in this by-election based on the electoral roll of the third quarter of 2018.

The Cameron Highlands by-election is estimated to cost RM3.5mil.

The Cameron Highlands District and Land Office will be used as the nomination centre while vote tallying will be held at Dewan Jubli Perak Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah.

The EC is also welcoming NGOs to become observers for this by-election.

“These bodies will be allowed access to the nomination centre, voting centres, vote-counting centres and the vote-tallying centre to do their observation,” said Azhar.

The by-election came about after the Election Court found that corrupt practices were committed during the 14th General Election, which led to the victory of Barisan Nasio­nal’s Datuk C. Sivarraajh.

On Nov 30, the Election Court declared the win null and void. Sivarraajh did not appeal the decision, paving way for the by-election.

He won the seat in a five-­cornered fight with a majority of 597 votes over his closest opponent, M. Manogaran of Pakatan Harapan.

The Cameron Highlands by-election is the fifth to be called post-GE14, after Sungai Kandis, Balakong, Seri Setia in Selangor, and the Port Dickson parliamentary by-election.

All four by-elections were successfully defended by Pakatan.

The Cameron Highlands seat is the first Barisan seat to be contested after GE14.

Meanwhile, the EC will seek legal advice on whether Sivarraajh is eligible to contest in the by-election.