KKB polls: Incumbent party to run in by-elections, no seat swapping, says Tok Mat


SEREMBAN: Political parties in the unity government have an understanding that the candidate in any by-election will be from the party which won the seat in the last general election, says Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan.

The Barisan Nasional deputy chairman said all parties had agreed to this after they formed the unity government post GE15.

"This understanding only applies to by-elections (after GE15). We have not decided what will happen in GE16 as one day is too long in politics," he said when met at his Hari Raya open house in Rantau near here.

Elaborating, Mohamad, who is also Umno deputy president said if an elected representative under the unity government dies, the candidate who would be contesting the seat in the ensuing by-election would be from the same party.

"This is not a general election where we are able to swap seats. It is important to have such an understanding to ensure there are no problems in the by-election," he said.

Mohamad was responding to a statement by the MCA political development committee that the party would not campaign in the Kuala Kubu Baharu by-election if the candidate was not from Barisan.

The party's political development committee announced the decision via a statement after a meeting at the party headquarters on Friday (April 19).

Dr Wee, who chairs the committee, had said the decision was unanimous.

Prior to this MIC president Tan Sri S.A. Vigneswaran had also hinted the same, adding that the party would only help to campaign in elections involving Barisan candidates.

However, Vigneswaran said the MIC would consider helping if there was a request from the Pakatan leadership.

Mohamad said the members in the unity government had worked together during the Pulai and Simpang Jeram by-elections in Johor and the Pelangai by-election in Pahang and this cooperation should continue.

"Since our friends in the unity government had helped one another then, we should continue with this cooperation.

"If we decide not to (help the candidate of the party contesting), then it will not look nice," he said.

Mohamad said helping to campaign for a candidate representing the unity government did not mean that the parties had merged.

"The idea is for a candidate representing the unity government to emerge victorious.

"We need to continue with this cooperation so that there will be no problems," he said.

Asked if the unity government would field a Malay candidate, Mohamad said this had not been decided.

He said the understanding was that the seat would be contested by Pakatan and it would be up to the coalition to decide who to field.

"There has only been one meeting between us so far and we don't even know if DAP will be defending the seat.

"All we know is that the seat was won by Pakatan and the DAP. We do not know who they will be fielding," he said.

Mohamad said MCA's and MIC's decision not to campaign would be discussed at a Barisan meeting to be held before the nomination for the Kuala Kubu Baharu by-election.

"We will manage it within Barisan. We need to help our friends (in the unity government) just like we did in the by-elections after GE15," he said.

The Kuala Kubu Baharu by-election was being held to fill in the vacancy following incumbent assemblyman Lee Kee Hiong's death recently.

The Election Commission had announced on April 4 that Nomination Day would be on April 27 and polling would take place on May 11.

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