Negri MB reiterates call for joint state elections next year

Negri Sembilan Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Aminuddin Harun. -filepic

SEREMBAN: The six states which have yet to dissolve their assemblies should do so around the same time so voters can take advantage of the holiday on polling day to return to their hometowns to vote.

Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Aminuddin Harun said the states should also agree to hold their elections at the same time so they could focus on development both at the state and national levels after the polls.

"I rather we have the state polls at one go or else the politicians and their election machinery will have to do quite a bit of travelling to the other states for months to help in the campaigning," he told reporters after chairing the state exco meeting at Wisma Negri on Wednesday (Dec 7).

Aminuddin said the leaders of the six states had during an informal meeting at the sidelines of the recent Rulers Conference agreed to hold the state polls simultaneously.

However, the final decision he said would be made by the leaderships of the political parties involved.

The six states that will hold their polls next year are Pakatan Harapan-controlled Selangor, Negri Sembilan and Penang and PAS-led Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu.

Aminuddin, who is also PKR vice-president, said in terms of logistics, it would also be easier for the Election Commission to hold the polls in the six states simultaneously.

He said the polls could be held at the same time although the first meetings of the state assemblies were held on separate dates after the 2018 general election.

"The EC is only required to hold the polls within 60 days after the state assembly is dissolved.

"So, even if the six states dissolve their respective assemblies over a period of time, the nomination exercise and polls in all the six states could still be held on the same day," he said, adding that it would also be cost-effective if the state polls were held together.

On Nov 24, Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari said the six state governments were in the midst of informal discussions on holding state elections simultaneously next year as part of a cost-cutting measure.

He added that although there was no timeline for when the joint dissolution could take place, there was a likelihood that the state elections may be held after the Hari Raya Aidilfitri celebrations next year.

Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said there had also been informal talks to hold the state polls in the Pakatan-controlled states either in May or June.

However, he said the party leadership would make a final decision on this.

However, Terengganu PAS election director Ariffin Deraman had recently said that the party-controlled states should hold their elections now.

PAS is a member of Perikatan Nasional which won 73 seats in the Nov 19 polls.

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