PENANG, 15 Feb 2009: Umno vice president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said the opposition should not dispute the date of two by-elections because the Election Commission (EC) decided on it based on legal provisions.
The decision, he said, was not wrong because the by-elections were to be held within 60 days after the Bukit Gantang parliamentary and Bukit Selambau state seats fell vacant.
“It was for the EC to determine the election date. According to the law, the EC has 60 days to hold an election for each vacated seat,” he told reporters after meeting Penang Umno delegates here today.
PAS Youth chief Salahuddin Ayub was reported to have said the EC fixed 7 April for the two by-elections following pressures by the Barisan Nasional (BN) leadership, particularly Umno that will be holding party polls at the end of March.
The by-elections were called following the death of PAS representative Roslan Shaharum (Bukit Gantang) on 9 Feb and resignation of Parti Keadilan Rakyat’s V Arumugam (Bukit Selambau). The nomination day is 29 March.
Muhyiddin said the opposition should not be suspicious towards Umno and if they were unhappy with the EC’s decision, they could take any action including by not contesting.
“If the opposition wants to dispute it, it is up to them. Even if they do not want to contest, up to them. If they are not contesting, BN can win uncontested,” he said.
He said BN had never disputed any EC decisions including on election dates. — Bernama