Election may be postponed in areas affected by intrusion: EC

PUTRAJAYA, March 7 (Bernama) -- The upcoming 13th general election can be postponed in areas in Sabah affected by the intrusion of terrorists from Sulu, should an emergency be declared in the said areas, according Election Commission (EC) chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof.

He said there were legal provisions to allow certain areas to postpone elections.

"According to the law, the EC will take this into consideration before making a decision on elections in areas where emergency has been declared," he told reporters here today.

Earlier, he had met with leaders from 30 political parties to clarify new matters to be implemented in the coming general election.

Abdul Aziz said the EC would review details in the emergency order, should it be issued, which will then be brought to a special meeting before a final decision was made.

"Right now only Lahad Datu and Sempora are affected and we are confident this will be resolved soon. The EC is ready to hold elections at any time," he said.

In another development, Abdul Aziz said 4,669 applications for postal voting abroad were received until this morning, of which 3,995 were eligible while 674 applications were rejected.

"Most of the applications were rejected because they had not registered as voters and that is the main requirement for the postal voting facility," he said.

He said the highest number of applications was for Kelana Jaya (195), followed by Petaling Jaya Utara (192), Segambut (156), Subang (123), Gombak (106), Shah Alam (98) and Serdang (86).

Commenting on the meeting with the political party leaders, Abdul Aziz said they were generally satisfied with the explanation given and improvements carried out by the EC.

He said among the main focus at the meeting was regarding the use of indelible ink, lack of special tents provided for nomination day, removal of the objections facility during nomination, early voting and prohibition on withdrawing candidates.

Besides that, Abdul Aziz also clarified that ballot papers had serial numbers to ensure no other ballot papers would be inserted in ballot boxes.

"This will also facilitate our checks in case of objections. This is because there are political parties which advise their supporters not to use ballot papers provided by the EC, but instead ask for a different ballot paper," he added.