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Government Does Not Intend To Do Away With By-Elections

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KUALA LUMPUR – The government does not intend to do away with by-elections although some quarters feel it is no longer relevant.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said said a by-election was vital because the people needed an elected representative to continue the duty of the one who had died or resigned.

“A by-election is held due to unavoidable circumstances. The constitution also states that a by-election must be held to find a replacement. So, I feel it is inappropriate if by-elections are done away with,” she told the Dewan Negara here today.

She was replying to a supplementary question from Senator Datuk Mohd Suhaimi Abdullah who viewed that by-elections were being misused and sought clarification on whether they were still relevant.

Azalina also said so far the Election Commission was satisfied with the election expenditure limits in the country because it was still relevant and no studies was needed to change it.

She said the spending limit set is RM200,000 for a parliamentary by-election and RM100,000 for a state by-election.

“In accordance with Section 19 of the Election Offences Act 1954, the spending limit refers to the candidate and not to political parties or non governmental organisations and does not burden anyone who is contesting,” she added. – BERNAMA

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