Wednesday, August 31, 2022

10 states likely to stay out

The Star:

10 states likely to stay out

Wednesday, 31 Aug 2022

KUALA LUMPUR: Six Opposition-held states are not likely to go along and dissolve their assemblies if the 15th General Election were to be held this year.

The PAS-led states of Kelantan, Terengganu and Kedah will not be dissolved before March 2023, the party’s secretary-general Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan announced.

Pakatan Harapan-held Selangor, Penang and Negri Sembilan are also set to stay out.

With Sabah, Sarawak, Melaka and Johor having held their elections within the past two years, a total of 10 states are not likely to feature in GE15.

Pakatan Harapan leaders in Selangor have unanimously agreed that the assembly would serve its full term until July next year while Negri Sembilan also does not plan to dissolve the assembly early.

In Penang, Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow announced that the state had decided not to hold concurrent elections.

If the states stick to their guns, only three states – Perlis, Perak and Pahang – will go to the polls along with the federal elections.

Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari said earlier this year that they wanted to go the full term.

He said the state government had to be in power until the end of its term to ensure all development projects in the pipeline were executed.

However, he added that the decision to dissolve the state assembly lay in the hands of state Ruler Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah.

State Speaker Ng Suee Lim said he was not certain if Amirudin’s earlier statement still stood.

“We have not discussed it and I do not know if it is still the mentri besar’s stand to not call for a state election and to serve the full term,’’ he said.

However, he said things were very fluid currently and everything was changing very quickly.

Negri Sembilan Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Aminuddin Harun has also said states ruled by Pakatan were not ready to dissolve their assemblies early but added that things might change if elections were held later in the year.

Takiyuddin said the PAS central committee had agreed the assemblies of Kelantan, Kedah and Terengganu would not be dissolved before March next year.

“The party’s central committee made the decision in a meeting on Monday.

“This is because we need to continue our focus on economic and health recovery efforts,” Takiyuddin said in a statement.

Kedah PAS commissioner Datuk Ahmad Yahaya confirmed that the state assembly would not be dissolved, in line with the stand of the party central leadership.

“We will follow what has been announced by our leadership,” he said.

Speculation is rife that GE15 will be held before the end of this year, with Umno piling pressure on the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob to dissolve Parliament.

Umno deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan has also said the Prime Minister had agreed to call for elections this year.

With Ismail Sabri announcing that the Budget 2023 will be tabled on Oct 7, three weeks earlier than scheduled, it has been speculated that Parliament will be dissolved soon after.

Even with only three states in the fray, all 222 parliamentary seats in all states – and federal territories –will be up for grabs.

Currently, PAS has 17 seats in the Dewan Rakyat, while PKR has 36 and DAP 42.

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