Bernama: EC Can Conduct Election Earliest By End September

PUTRAJAYA, July 20 (Bernama) — The earliest the Election Commission (EC) can conduct the country’s 12th general election if the government plans to hold it this year is end September.

EC chairman Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman said this was because the commission needed to hold a training exercise on it for its 200,000 election workers from throughout the country.
“If the government asks when the EC can be fully ready, the answer from me will be end September,” he told reporters at his office here Friday.

He said this when asked the question by reporters. The previous general election was held on March 21, 2004 and the next must be held by March 20, 2009.
Last month, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi when pressed about a date for it by the media, had repeatedly said that he had yet to get the inspiration to hold it, but added it (inspiration) may come at anytime.
Abdul Rashid also said that RM220 million had been allocated to the EC to prepare for the election.
However, he said that it needed RM100 million more to buy new equipment including the latest type of transparent ballot boxes.
He added that if the government planned to use the biometric (finger print) identification system, a further RM40 million would be needed.