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Friday, July 30, 2010

Selangor will give 6 months' advance notice for state polls


G Manimaran

KUALA LUMPUR, July 30 — The Pakatan Rakyat (PR) Selangor administration will give six months’ notice of its intention to call for state elections.

At a PR council meeting on July 19, the state also decided not to dissolve the Selangor assembly if Barisan Nasional (BN) decides to call for an early general election.

Selangor PAS information chief Roslan Shahir Mohd Shahir told The Malaysian Insider the advance notice would strengthen democratic practices in the country.

“Six months before the dissolution of the state assembly, we will announce it to the public that a state election will be called,” he said.

“It won’t be an exact date but that is just to inform political parties so they can make early preparation,” said Roslan, citing similar practice in other democratic countries.

He said that with the advance notice, political parties could lay the groundwork unlike the normal practice of BN governments, where dissolution of state assemblies and Parliament are announced at the last minute.

Roslan hoped that other parties would emulate the practice.

“We used to complain about the surprise announcement of elections, [that] there has been no advance notification for political parties, [so] we want to create a system where everyone can enjoy the advantage of making early preparation,” he said.

The current terms of both Parliament and the Selangor assembly expire in May 2013.

Last week, Roslan had said that Selangor PR would not dissolve the state assembly even if BN decides to call for snap polls.

He said the state PR wished to serve its full term in order to fulfil its election promises.

Selangor is one of the four states controlled by PR. The other three are Penang, Kedah and Kelantan.

The heads of the state governments may decide on state elections after obtaining royal or gubernatorial consent to dissolve the legislative assemblies.

Parliament is dissolved by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong on the advice of the prime minister.

Traditionally, the federal election is held concurrently with the state elections, except for Sarawak.

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