The Election Commission has fixed 29 March as nomination day and polling day on 7 April for both the Bukit Gantang and Bukit Selambau by-elections.
Nomination day thus falls a day after the Umno general assembly concludes on 28 March.
How convenient for Umno that the by-elections are scheduled for after its general assembly.
Najib is thus spared the embarrassment of leading the BN to two more possible by-election defeats ahead of the Umno assembly.
For the Kuala Terengganu by-election, the Election Commission announced on 5 December 2008 that polling day would be 17 January 2009. That’s a gap of 43 days.
This time the announcement is made today, 13 February, for polling day on 7 April. That’s a gap of 53 days, one of the longest in recent times. That’s cutting it close to the maximum 60 days allowed.