Polls in March? That’s PM’s prerogative, says Salleh

sallehKUALA LUMPUR: It is Prime Minister Najib Razak’s prerogative to call for a general election next year should he want to, says Communications and Multimedia Minister Salleh Said Keruak.

Responding to a recent Bloomberg report that speculated that Najib may call for elections as early as next March, Salleh merely said that was Najib’s “prerogative”.

“In our system of democracy, it is the PM’s prerogative to dissolve Parliament.

“Our purpose of forming a government is not just to call for elections, it is to serve the people,” Salleh said.

He said the government still has much on its agenda to deal with before any thought is given to calling for elections.

“We’re waiting for our budget for 2017; the PM also has to address various issues with the people. When the time comes for the elections, we will be ready.

“We are confident the majority of the people are behind us. What they want is stability and continued progress. No interference from outsiders.”

Bloomberg had quoted an Umno division leader from a southern state, who asked not to be identified, as saying that March “has been talked about”.

“And why not? The Opposition is not together. We are as ready as we can be for elections,” the leader had reportedly said.

Another Umno division leader from a different state had also told Bloomberg that March was being discussed for the polls.

Najib’s office has, however, declined requests for comments on the possibility of early polls.

“We are not a presidential system like that in the United States,” Salleh said.

“It’s up to the PM. To me, the priority now is to continue to give good service to the people. Let the people decide when the time comes.”