11 reasons for not having polls this year

KUALA LUMPUR: The talk in town is that a general election will be called this year some 17 months before this current government's term ends. We think not. And here are 11 reasons why we think the 13th general election will not be called this year:

1. Barisan Nasional is only meeting today to further discuss its seat allocations and, by all accounts, the 14 parties in the ruling coalition have yet to agree on many things, especially candidates. Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak is chairing the meeting to be held at the PWTC.

2. The public examinations do not end till the middle of December. School halls and classrooms are widely used as polling and counting centres by the election commission. The SPM does not end until Dec 14 while the STPM finishes a day later.

3. The last batch of the Haj pilgrims are not expected back until Dec 11 and almost 30,000 Malaysians went to Mecca to perform their pilgrimage. It would be an unpopular move to hold the polls before their return here.

4. The Meteorological Services Department is predicting the monsoon season to be heavier than last year. Based on what has happened in Thailand, the experts are warning that rainfall will be 40% more than the usual monsoon season. It would be disastrous for a general election if it had to be postponed or called off because of floods.

5. Both Najib and his deputy Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin have confirmed that they are going for holidays in December.

6. The Umno general assembly is to be held from Nov 29 to Dec 3 rendering it almost impossible for the party to take part in any polls for at least a couple of weeks after their meeting as they would need to implement measures adopted at the assembly.

7. The Election Commission needs at least 60 days' notice to organise a general election even if Parliament is to be dissolved within the next few weeks.

Its deputy chairman Datuk Wan Ahmad Omar said that although Parliament could be dissolved sometime between now and December, the EC had at least until January to hold an election.

8. Najib will want to ensure that Pakatan Rakyat states dissolve their state assembly and be part of the general election. He does not want to go to the polls twice in a short period. Only Kelantan Mentri Besar Datuk Nik Aziz Mat has agreed to go along while Selangor, Penang and Kedah have not. According to sources, Najib has been told that these states will not follow if the general election is held this year.

9. Najib had announced all sorts of goodies in his 2012 Budget as well as various reforms including the repealing of the Internal Security Act. Almost all of these will not kick in until next year. “It would only make sense for Najib to wait for all his promises, pledges and aid to start showing effect before going to the polls,” said a high-ranking Barisan official.

10. The Parliamentary Select Committee on electoral reforms have only just begun work and there is no way they can complete their task within seven weeks. It will be odd for Najib to promise wide ranging reforms not to wait for this committee to finish its work before calling for the polls.

11. The 11th reason is of course that today is already Nov 11 and the number 11 is supposed to be Najib's favourite number. Many have claimed that Najib would use this auspicious date to announce the dissolution of Parliament and call the polls for December. There is no indication he will announce anything.

With these 11 reasons, it is almost safe to say that the 13th general election will not be held in the next 50 days.



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