Mohamad: Party that won last GE fields candidate in by-election

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

The Barisan Nasional deputy chairman said all parties had agreed to this after they formed the unity government after the 15th General Election (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.

Mohamad elaborated by saying that if an elected representative of the unity government dies, the candidate who contests the seat in the ensuing by-election will 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,” said Mohamad, who is also Umno deputy president.

The Kuala Kubu Baharu by-election came about following last month’s passing of incumbent assemblyman Lee Kee Hiong of DAP.

DAP has held the state seat since 2013.

Nominations will take place on April 27, while the polling date has been fixed for May 11.

Speaking to reporters at his Hari Raya open house in Rantau yesterday, Mohamad said that it would be up to Pakatan Harapan to decide on the candidate, as the Kuala Kubu Baharu seat was previously held by DAP.

He also addressed remarks by MCA and MIC about not getting involved in the campaign if the candidate is not from Barisan.

The decision by MCA and MIC would be discussed at a Barisan meeting to be held before the nomination for the Kuala Kubu Baharu by-election, he said.

“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.”

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

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

Mohamad said that cooperating to campaign for a candidate under 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 problem,” he said.

Yesterday, MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong said the party had already notified the unity government leadership that it would not help in campaigns if the candidate was not from Barisan.

“We have conveyed (our stand) at every level.

“Even the Prime Minister and his deputy, who is Barisan chairman, were aware of our stand (before Friday’s meeting of the MCA political development bureau),” he told reporters at Mohamad’s Hari Raya open house in Rantau.

Dr Wee said MCA’s decision was a collective one made by the political development committee.

“If the candidate is not from Barisan, we will not be involved in the campaigning,” he said, adding that the decision was taken after much deliberation.

Last Friday, MCA’s political development committee, which is chaired by Dr Wee, announced that the party had made the unanimous decision not to participate in the campaign if the proposed candidate is not a member of any Barisan component party.

Prior to this, MIC president Tan Sri S.A. Vigneswaran had also indicated 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.

Meanwhile, PKR information chief Fahmi Fadzil said they would work with all component parties to ensure victory in Kuala Kubu Baru.

Speaking to reporters after attending a special Sabah PKR council meeting in Kota Kinabalu yesterday, Fahmi said that Barisan chairman Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had also voiced support for working together.

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