KUALA LUMPUR, 15 Jan 2009: The MIC central working committee (CWC) has yet to set the date for the party presidential election, which is likely to be held in April or May this year.
Party election steering committee head Datuk K Vijayanathan said the six-person committee had yet to obtain the mandate from the CWC for the election to be conducted.
“We are awaiting the mandate from the CWC. We do not decide on the dates. We are only empowered to conduct the election based on the MIC by-laws and regulations,” he told Bernama when contacted.
The MIC will hold election of its top office-bearers this year. The presidential elections are expected early this year while election for other positions — deputy president, three vice-presidents and 23 CWC members — would most likely be in September.
To date, incumbent president Datuk Seri S Samy Vellu, who has helmed the party for 30 years, has announced that he would defend his position. Former MIC vice-president Datuk M Muthupalaniappan has also revealed his intention to contest the post.
However, a contest for the party top post is not certain as the MIC disciplinary committee has issued a show cause notice to Muthupalaniappan for allegedly issuing statements against the interest of the party.
The disciplinary committee has yet to decide on the matter.
If Muthupalaniappan is suspended as MIC member, he would lose his eligibility to contest and this could pave way for Samy Vellu to win the post for the 11th consecutive term.
Vijayanathan, when asked if Tan Sri M Mahalingam who was removed as party treasurer-general by Samy Vellu three weeks ago, would be replaced in the election steering committee, said there was no need to replace the veteran leader.
“We have five others in the committee, and we are capable of doing the job. We can conduct the elections, both presidential and for other posts. There is no problem in that,” he added.
Meanwhile, sources reveal that the CWC has fixed 9-28 Feb for all 4,600 MIC branches to conduct the annual meetings and elections.
It has also fixed 7-31 March for the running of all divisional elections.
Since divisional elections are expected to be completed only at the end of March, the presidential polls are only expected to be held after that.