PETALING JAYA: The next general election will not be held in September, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said, dismissing rumours there will be snap polls in the next three months.
According to Free Malaysia Today, September will be too soon, Zahid told reporters at the Umno Aidilfitri open house, held at the Putra World Trade Centre, yesterday.
There had been much speculation about GE14 being called soon after it was reported early this month that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had sent out a strong indication of a general election happening soon, with his message to Umno divisions across the country.
In a tweet to the divisions prior to their meetings between July 8 and Aug 26, Najib said: “Strengthen the bonds and rise together to prepare the machinery and line up strategies in preparation for the 14th General Election.”
There was much speculation that GE14 would be called anytime between September this year to next March and the prime minister has been coy on the timing of the election. It is speculated that Najib may call for it later this year rather than wait for the full term of the current parliament.
The term of the current Parliament lapses on June 24, 2018, and the 14th General Election must be called within two months. However, the prime minister has the prerogative to dissolve Parliament earlier.
The Federal Constitution provides that a general election needs to be called when Parliament is dissolved or it reaches a maximum term of five years. The current Parliament, which kicked off its term on June 24, 2013, will automatically be dissolved as of June 24, 2018.
Since a general election has to be called no later than two months after Parliament is dissolved, the last possible date for the next general election (GE14) will be Aug 24, 2018.
However, since Najib had waited until barely a month from the last possible date of the last general election (GE13), some political pundits opine he may want to wait it out again for GE14 too. (GE13 was held on May 5, 2013, with the last possible date having been June 28, 2013.)