GE15: 14-day campaigning period will end at 11.59 tonight

GE15: 14-day campaigning period will end at 11.59 tonight

KUALA LUMPUR: The 14-day campaigning period for the 15th General Election (GE15), which began on Nov 5, will end at 11.59 tonight.

This means that after midnight tonight, all activities of appealing for votes are disallowed, especially on polling day tomorrow, in 222 parliamentary seats and in 59 state seats in Perak, Pahang (42) and Perlis (15) as well as in the Bugaya state seat in Sabah.

However, the status of the Padang Serai parliamentary seat has yet to be decided, whether voting will be able to be conducted following the death of the Pakatan Harapan contesting incumbent, M. Karupaiya. The Election Commission (EC) will hold a meeting today to determine the status.

Karupaiya was set to defend the seat in a six-cornered clash against Hamzah Abd Rahman (Pejuang-Putra), Datuk C. Sivaraajh (Barisan Nasional-MIC), Mohd Bakhri Hashim (Warisan), Datuk Azman Nasrudin (Perikatan Nasional-Bersatu) and independent candidate Sreanandha Rao.

According to the EC’s previous statement, the commission will enforce subsection 26 (1) of the Election Offences Act 1954, which prohibits holding, calling or arranging any form of meeting, gathering, show, entertainment or giving public speeches.

The law also, among other things, prohibits the supply of any loudspeakers for political purposes as well as prohibiting the opening of offices or booths inside polling stations on polling day.

This GE made history when a total of 945 candidates from various parties were confirmed eligible to contest for 222 parliamentary seats nationwide, the highest in the country’s election history.

In the meantime, Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, expressed hope for a harmonious and smooth campaign period, without any major issues involving provocation or extreme violence, until polling day tomorrow.

Meanwhile, as at yesterday (Nov 17), the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) have issued a total of 2,148 ceramah (political talks) permits nationwide throughout the campaigning period for GE15.

PDRM GE15 operations director, Datuk Seri Hazani Ghazali, said that 326 permits were issued in Sabah, Pahang (300), Sarawak (293), Perak (221), Johor (208), Kedah (180), Kelantan (147), Selangor (112), Negeri Sembilan (103), Melaka (94), Terengganu (89), Pulau Pinang (40), Perlis (23), and Kuala Lumpur (12).

In addition, police also opened 20 investigation papers nationwide, namely four each in Selangor and Kuala Lumpur, followed by three in Sarawak, two in Sabah and one each in Kedah, Perak, Melaka, Pahang, Negeri Sembilan, Kelantan, and Terengganu, for sedition, criminal threats, and damaging flags and banners belonging to contesting parties and candidates.

GE15 witnessed an increase in the number of voters, with 21.1 million eligible voters, compared with 14.9 million in GE14. – Bernama