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11 New Seats Expected To Be Used In Sarawak State Election

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KUALA LUMPUR – Eleven new seats, created in the redelineation exercise in Sarawak are expected to be used in the coming state elections.

Election Commission (EC) chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof said the final report of the recommendation on the redelineation exercise was expected to be prepared and submitted to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak for tabling in Parliament in March, if it did not receive any protest.

“To date, EC has not received any protest or proposal from any quarters qualified to do so as enshrined in the Federal Constitution,” he told Bernama here.

EC has displayed the recommendation on the increase in the number of state election divisions for Sarawak from Jan 5 to Feb 4, at several places in the state.

Following the redelineation exercise, the number of state assembly seats has been increased to 82 from 71.

The new state areas are N.13 Batu Kitang; N.17 Stakan; N.18 Serembu; N.23 Triboh; N.26 Gedong; N.40 Kabong; N.57 Telian; N.63 Selirik; N.66 Murum; N.70 Samalaju; and, N.78 Long Lama.

At a special session with the media in June, in conjunction with the 100th day of the administration of Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem, Abdul Aziz said he did not rule out that the state election would be held much earlier, or until the mandate of the state seats ended in June 2016.

Abdul Aziz said if there were protests, EC would review protests only from permitted quarters.

After the process of reviewing the protests, the recommendation would be displayed again, he said, while voicing his confidence that the redelineated areas could be used for the Sarawak state election.

The parties permitted to protest are the state government, local authorities, with part of or the whole of their areas included in the seats which are affected by the recommendation, and groups from the public of 100 people or more whose names are indicated in the current voter list for the election areas in question. Touching on the gazetting of the redelineation notice for parliamentary and state seats in Sabah and peninsula, he said it had not been decided.

“We are still waiting for the floods to fully subside because the current condition is not suitable,” he added.

The gazetting, which at the outset was planned last month, was put off following the current floods which inundated several states.

Redelineation exercises are conducted at least every eight years. It was last done in 2003. – Bernama

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