Tuesday, October 20

Election candidates may be barred from withdrawing during cooling-off period

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KUALA LUMPUR: Individuals confirmed as election candidates may be barred from withdrawing their candidacy during the cooling-off period after nomination.

This was among the new rules expected to be implemented by the Election Commission to ensure only candidates who were serious stood for elections.

“It is one of the proposals that has received the agreement of the EC. Once the cooling-off period (three days from nomination) is done away with, candidates whose nominations are accepted, automatically cannot withdraw their candidacy,” Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili, the chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee for Electoral Reform, told a press conference after chairing the committee’s meeting at Parliament House here yesterday.

According to him, the EC had also accepted a proposal to do away with the objection period during nomination.

However, to effect the changes, he said amendments to election regulations would have to be done first and these were expected to be settled by early April.

“We hope the changes can be effected in the 13th General Election,” he said.

Ongkili said the meeting yesterday was also updated on the use of indelible ink during the voting process, which will be gazetted on Wednesday
(Feb 15). — Bernama