Sarawak assembly to dissolve April 11, paving way for elections

The Sarawak state assembly will be dissolved on April 11 to pave way for the 11th state election, Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem announced today.


Adenan said he met with Governor Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud this morning, when the latter consented to the dissolution.

He said a letter from the governor to dissolve the state assembly has been delivered to the Sarawak Speaker Datuk Amar Asfia Awang Nasar.

“The Speaker will notify the Election Commission on the dissolution, and it is up to the commission to fix the dates of nomination and polling. We have no power to decide on the dates,” Adenan said after chairing the State Cabinet meeting here.

Adenan explained that April 11 was selected in order to give the EC time to prepare.

He said he is confident that the state Barisan Nasional will win more than two-thirds of the 82 state assembly seats based on the feedback he obtained.

On the list of the BN candidates, he said it will be finalised before nomination day.

“At the moment, only Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) has finalised its list of 11 candidates, while PBB (Parti Pesaka Bumiputra Bersatu) has finalised about three-quarters of our list of 40 candidates,” he said.

He said Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP) and Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) are having problems picking their candidates, but believed both will submit these in due time.

On the direct BN candidates, Adenan, who is also the Sarawak BN chairman, said there will be “several of them” to be fielded.

“I cannot tell you how many of them will be fielded,” he said, adding that he will not comment at this moment whether incumbent state lawmakers from United People’s Party (UPP) and Parti Tenaga Sarawak (Teras) will have to resign from their respective parties to enable them to contest as direct candidates.

Among those present at the press conference were Deputy Chief Minister and PBB deputy president (1)Tan Sri Alfred Jabu, Sarawak Land Development Minister and PRS president Tan Sri Dr James Masing, and Tourism Minister and PBB deputy president (2) Datuk Amar Abang Johari Openg.

In the 2011 state election, the BN won 55 out of 71 state assembly seats.

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