Opposition seeks at least 21 days for campaigning


KUALA LUMPUR: The opposition today called on the Election Commission (EC) to set campaigning period at no less than 21 days from nomination day.

Opposition leader Datuk Seri Wan Azizah Wan Ismail  (PKR- Permatang Pauh) said this was to enable candidates to have sufficient time to approach registered voters as the number of voters had drastically increased for the 14th General Election (GE14).

“It would be unfair if the campaigning period is too short, because pursuant to Article 55 (4) of the Federal Constitution, the GE must be held within 60 days after the date of dissolution of Parliament.

“I request that the EC consider a campaigning period of at least 21 days for the parties and candidates to approach voters,” she said when debating the motion of thanks for the royal address at the Dewan Rakyat, today.

The Permatang Pauh MP said based on records, the campaigning period for the GEs in 1959, 1964 and 1969 was 35 days.

“Then in 1974, it lasted 16 days, while for the 1982 General Election, the campaigning period was reduced to 15 days, then further reduced to 10 days in the GEs in 1986, 1990 and 1995.

“The campaigning period was reduced to nine days in 1999, and only eight days in 2004, which is the shortest period in (Malaysian) GE history. Meanwhile, the campaigning period was 13 days in 2008, and increased to 15 days in GE13 (2013),” she said. – Bernama