SEREMBAN (Bernama): The Election Commission (EC) has dismissed an allegation that it is biased and has only enforced laws against one political party during the campaign period for the Rantau by-election.
EC chairman Azhar Azizan Harun said campaign enforcement authorities received 16 reports of election offences involving the two political parties contesting the by-election.
"They are on eight offences committed by Party A and eight more by Party B, not against Party A only or Party B only. These are the facts.
"The EC is fair," he said after monitoring the checking of ballot boxes and distribution of election equipment to the presiding officers at Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan Cina Bandar Sri Sendayan, which will be used as the vote-tallying centre.
He said that among the 16 offences were those on campaigning without a permit and putting up banners contrary to the rules.
Azhar said the EC acted on the reports by advising the offenders not to repeat the offences.
He also said that the by-election campaign had gone on smoothly over the past 13 days.
He anticipated that the result of the polls would be announced by 10pm on polling day tomorrow (April 13).
A total of 14 polling stations with 53 polling streams will be made available from 8am to 5.30pm.
Up to 20,793 voters are eligible to cast their ballots Saturday (April 13). Some 96% of the 110 early voters, comprising military and police personnel and their spouses, went to the polls on Tuesday (April 9).
The Rantau by-election is a four-cornered contest among anaesthetist Dr S. Streram of Pakatan Harapan; Umno deputy president and former Negri Sembilan mentri besar Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan of Barisan Nasional; and two independent candidates, namely R. Malarvizhi, a housewife, and Mohd Nor Yassin, a former lecturer.
The by-election was called after the Federal Court dismissed an appeal filed by Mohamad to set aside the Nov 16 Seremban Election Court decision declaring his unopposed victory in the 14th General Election (GE14) last May as null and void.
In GE14, Mohamad was declared the winner of the seat after Dr Streram was prohibited from entering the nomination centre to submit his nomination papers because he did not have a pass issued by the EC. – Bernama