Tuesday 24 May 2011

DAP against following BN for snap polls this year

May 24, 2011
KUALA LUMPUR, May 24 — The DAP announced today that it would not agree to holding concurrent elections in Pakatan Rakyat-led (PR) states should the federal government call for snap polls this year.

Secretary-general Lim Guan Eng said the DAP’s central executive committee (CEC) agreed on the position at its meeting yesterday as the party preferred for all four PR governments to complete their full five-year term.

“But if snap polls are called next year, then there is a greater likelihood that we would agree to hold concurrent elections,” he told a press conference at the party’s headquarters here this morning.
Lim, however stressed that the party’s decision was still subject to further discussion among PR parties.
PR currently runs the Penang, Selangor, Kelantan and Kedah state governments.

Last July, the Selangor PR also announced its preference to use its full five-year mandate and would not hold concurrent elections.

“In terms of the position of our confidence, it must also be subject to public interest. Also, we want to win... not just alone but together. I think that is critical. It is not just DAP winning... it is also PR winning,” Lim said when asked if the party lacked confidence.

Asked if the DAP’s decision was influenced by its partner PKR’s depleting voter support, Lim pointed out that even Barisan Nasional’s (BN) popularity was weakening due to the spate of price hikes.
“If you look at the other side... all these present price hikes are also unfavourable towards the BN government,” he said.

He said the purpose of holding snap polls was merely to entrench the position of “one leader”.

He was likely referring to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak who was installed into his post only when his predecessor Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi stepped down after Elections 2008.

Lim said if polls were to be held later, it would help PR place itself in a better position to recapture Perak, a state formerly helmed by the pact but later fell to BN during the 2009 constitutional impasse.

He said the DAP’s CEC also agreed yesterday to endorse the Perak DAP’s stand to support the re-appointment of PAS leader Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin as the Perak mentri besar should PR recapture the northern state in the coming polls.

Perak DAP chief Datuk Ngeh Koo Ham, who was also present at the press conference today, admitted that public anger against BN during the 2009 power grab has since dissipated, saying PR hoped to remind Perak folk of the events.

In a recent PR opinion poll, it was discovered that the pact would only win 33 of the 59 seats in the state assembly if an election is called now. A similar poll conducted in 2009 showed that PR would have won 40 seats.

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