Selection of Deputy Speaker likely to be put to a vote, says Shahidan Kassim

PETALING JAYA: There is likely to be a contest for the post of Dewan Rakyat Deputy Speaker when Parliament meets next month, says Datuk Seri Dr Shahidan Kassim (pic).

"If there is a vacancy, then there has to be an election to fill it if there is more than one candidate.

"That is the procedure," he said when contacted on Tuesday (Aug 24).

Shahidan, who heads Perikatan Nasional's backbenchers in Parliament, noted the normal practice is for the ruling government to propose its choice of candidate to Parliament.

However, he said others may also propose their candidate for the post, resulting in a vote.

The Arau MP added there will likely be a contest for the post when Parliament reconvenes on Sept 6.

"If they (Opposition) propose, it will also be considered by the House," he said.

The vacancy comes after the Pengerang MP Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said resigned from the position on Monday (Aug 23).

Azalina, who was among Umno MPs who withdrew support for the previous administration, cited conflict of roles and responsibilities between being an MP in a ruling coalition and member of the Umno supreme council.

Earlier Tuesday (Aug 24), Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun confirmed that a 14-day notice had been given to lawmakers to decide on their candidate.

He said the matter would be put to a vote if more than one candidate is nominated.

The 15-day Dewan Rakyat meeting will be opened by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong on Sept 6.

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