By RAZAK AHMAD
BUKIT TINGGI 24/03/2013: May 26 is the latest date whereby simultaneous parliamentary and state elections can be held following the expiry of the Negri Sembilan state legislative assembly on March 26, says Election Commission (EC) chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof.
While Parliament's five-year term ends on April 27, several state legislative assemblies will end earlier, with Negri Sembilan the first to expire on March 26.
Polls for state seats in Negri Sembilan must therefore be held within 60 days from that date, said Abdul Aziz.
“We are trying our best to hold polls simultaneously in all states along with Parliamentary polls, which means that I have until May 26 to hold simultaneous polls because Negri Sembilan will expire by then and no state assembly can stretch its term beyond five years,”
Abdul Aziz said after briefing Returning Officers (RO) from the Federal Territories at a resort here.
Abdul Aziz expressed confidence that the governments in Penang, Kelantan and Kedah would seek to dissolve their state legislative assemblies on the same date with the Dewan Rakyat.
“The only state we are unsure about is Selangor but it does not matter because even if they decide to dissolve after Parliament, we still have room to hold polls simultaneously,” said Abdul Aziz.
He added that if Negri Sembilan's state legislative assembly was allowed to run its full term until Tuesday, the state will then be run by a caretaker government.
The state assembly Speaker, Mentri Besar and exco members will continue administering the state to carry out whatever policies set by the now-expired state government, but they cannot create new policies or table a new budget.
On indelible ink, Abdul Aziz said the item, which would be used for the first time in the coming polls, had arrived in Malaysia.
It is being stored in air-conditioned rooms to preserve the quality of 210,000 bottles of ink.
The storage area, the location of which Abdul Aziz declined to reveal, is being monitored by closed circuit television (CCTV) to prevent theft.
The ink would be distributed to each state on the day of Parliament's dissolution and would be given to each Parliamentary constituency's Returning Officer on nomination day.
Abdul Aziz said Returning Officers for the 22-parliamentary constituencies who had all been appointed yesterday had begun processing postal voting applications by overseas Malaysians, with 7,213 applications received so far.
He said information about the approved applications would be updated on the EC website (http://www.spr.gov.my) and voters will be notified by e-mail.