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Budget date no effect on GE timing

 | May 30, 2012

Will the election be held after Sept 28? Pundits don’t think so.

PETALING JAYA: Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s 2013 Budget date announcement has no bearing on when the 13th general election will be called, according to political observers and opposition lawmakers.

Commenting on the announcement that the budget will be presented in September, they rejected the notion that this meant Najib had decided to delay the election until late this year.

Most observers speculate that the election will be held in a month or two.

Political analyst James Chin of Monash University said the only thing holding up Najib from announcing the election date was discussion over Barisan Nasional’s list of candidates.

“Basically, the Umno election machinery has been up since last year,” he said. “The most important thing is the candidates list, because [potential] candidates will always interfere at the last minute,” he told FMT.

DAP publicity chief Tony Pua said the budget date announcement did not make any difference to when Najib would call for elections.

“He can dissolve Parliament tomorrow and have elections by July, hold elections after the Hari Raya before the next Parliament session [in September] or call it after the Budget is announced. It makes no difference,” he said.

Pua said that Najib’s only concern was to make sure that “everything” was in his favour before calling for elections. This would not happen, he added, citing a poor economic outlook later this year.

He also attacked the BN’s vote-fishing measures, calling them non-achievements, saying the good feelings generated by such programmes as Bantuan Rakyat 1Malaysia were “fizzling out”.

Kuala Krai MP Hatta Ramli of PAS said the budget date announcement was a sign of the premier’s confidence that BN would win and a manifestation of arrogance.

“If the election is done before that, he’s assuming that he’s going to win,” Hatta said. “There’s some level of arrogance there.”


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