Batu Sapi by-election after emergency period ends

Datuk Abdul Ghani Salleh

PUTRAJAYA – The Batu Sapi parliamentary by-election will be held within 60 days after the emergency period ends, said Election Commission (EC) chairman Datuk Abdul Ghani Salleh.

He said it was the same period set when the EC received the official notification of a vacancy for parliamentary or state seats.

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“It’s like we just received the notification from the speaker. It means that we have 60 days to carry out the election,” he told a press conference here today.

On Nov 18, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah, made a Proclamation of Emergency for the Batu Sapi parliamentary constituency, in effect cancelling the by-election for the seat.

The Proclamation of Emergency based on Clause (1) Article 150 of the Federal Constitution was made after studying the explanation given by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who had presented his advice based on a decision taken at the Cabinet meeting.

The EC had set Nov 23 for nomination, Dec 1 for early voting and Dec 5 for polling for the Batu Sapi by-election.

The by-election was called after Batu Sapi MP Datuk Liew Vui Keong died of lung infection on Oct 2.

Asked about the possibility of declaration of emergency in Gerik and Bugaya, Abdul Ghani said the EC only carried out the task of conducting elections as enshrined in the Federal Constitution.

On Nov 24, the Dewan Rakyat was told that a declaration of emergency, as the one proclaimed in the Batu Sapi parliamentary constituency, is currently being considered for both Gerik parliamentary constituency and Bugaya state constituency, which are facing a by-election following the death of the respective elected representatives.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law) Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan said the declaration, however, depends on the risk assessment by the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the National Security Council (MKN).

— BERNAMA