After a number of smokescreens the SPR had just finished its meeting a few minutes ago, after which the Chairman announced the details for the 2 by-elections: nomination: Mar 29th; Polling : April 7th. Campaign period is a short 9 days!
Another thing funny is: the nomination will be just 1 day after the UMNO General Assembly-and will be Najib’s 1st 2 by-elections after assuming the post of UMNO president and Malaysian PM simultaneously on April 1st-April Fools’ Day!!(Badawi officially step down on Mar 31st). WHose humour was it? The SPR’s? The outgoing faction? The In-coming party?
More fireworks will ensue -with the selection of candidates to lead the first episode!
There are also concern over the long period EC/SPR allow to organise the polls. It seems as though they take into consideration of UMNO’s general Assembly to come to a decision on the dates. By law EC is allowed 60 days to organise a by-election once a vacancy is known for a seat in a legislature in the country. The long period do allow partisan manouvering to favour a particular side. Some regulation on this may be reasonable to compell the EC to make itself accountable to the electorate.