MTN – The 12th Sarawak state elections begin tomorrow with the nomination of candidates at 82 centres from 9am.
This election will be unlike previous polls, not only due to the pandemic, but because Sarawak is one of two states – the other being Kelantan – still in Phase 3 of the national recovery plan.
To reduce the spread of Covid-19 infections, the Election Commission (EC) has announced that only candidates, their proposer and seconder, or any two of them, will be allowed to enter the nomination centre to submit the candidates’ nomination papers.
The candidates’ supporters will not be allowed entry, and any gatherings or processions in show of support for the candidates are banned throughout nomination day.
Candidates have an hour to submit their nomination papers. In a bid to speed up the process, candidates are urged to fill up their papers and check if everything is in order with the office of the returning officer or the Sarawak state election office beforehand.
Candidates and political parties are given 12 days to campaign before polling day on Dec 18, as set by the EC. Early voting has been set on Dec 14.
The SOPs for campaigning, however, have yet to be announced.
The Sarawak state elections were postponed after the tenure of the last state legislative assembly ended on June 6 following the emergency proclamation by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah from Jan 11 to Aug 1 to stop the spread of Covid-19.
When the Emergency ended, the King once again declared a state of emergency in Sarawak from Aug 2 to Feb 2, 2022.
The Emergency was then lifted on Nov 3, resulting in the automatic dissolution of the state assembly, paving the way for new state elections.
A total of 82 state seats are being contested. As of yesterday, 1,268 nomination forms had been sold.
The 12th Sarawak elections will involve 1,252,014 eligible voters, with 1,228,858 ordinary voters, 12,585 military personnel and their spouses, 10,458 police personnel and spouses as well as 113 absentee overseas voters.
There will be 1,951 polling centres with 3,666 voting stations/channels, with 46,565 people appointed to manage the election. [FMT]
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