It is 17 days from dissolution of Parliament to Nomination Day compared to 15 days for the official campaign period. What gives?
Aliran has just come out with a statement raising questions over the lopsided periods.
Finally, the Elections Commission (SPR) has decided that polling for the 13th general election will take place on 5 May 2013 and that nomination day will be on 20 April.
Given our recent history regarding general elections, allowing 15 days for campaigning is most welcome. The last time we had a similar campaign period of 15 days was in 1982. In 1986, it was 10 days, 1990 – 10, 1995 – 10, 1999 – 9, 2004 – 8, 2008 (under Abdullah Badawi) – 13. So, 14 days is an improvement from recent years. In the first three general elections after Merdeka, the campaign period was 35 days, which would be the norm in more mature parliamentary democracies.
We note with concern that there is an uncommonly lengthy period from the dissolution of Parliament on 3 April to Nomination Day on 20 April, i.e. 17 days. This is the longest period since 1964. From 1974, the average gap was 7-10 days, except for 1986 (5 days) and 2008 (11 days). It must be a coincidence that the Barisan Nasional secretary general Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor announced on 3 April, on the day Parliament was dissolved, that the Umno-BN was hoping to announce the names of their candidates over a period of seven to 10 days before nomination.
We wonder why the gap between dissolution of Parliament and Nomination Day (17 days) is longer than the official campaign period (15 days). Full statement on Aliran website.