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PM announces parliament dissolution to make way for GE15

KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 10): The 14th Parliament was dissolved on Monday to make way for the 15th general election (GE15).

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced the dissolution of the Parliament in a special announcement at Perdana Putra at 3pm on Monday, putting an end to the rumours and speculations that had grown stronger since the end of September.

Ismail Sabri said he obtained the consent of Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah to dissolve the Parliament during an audience at Istana Negara on Sunday.

The special announcement was streamed live on national television and his official Facebook page.

"With this announcement, the mandate will be returned to the people. The people's mandate is a powerful antidote to manifest political stability and to form a strong, stable, and respected government after GE15.

"The announcement of the Parliament dissolution was made to put a stop to all the voices questioning the legitimacy of the alleged backdoor government," he said.

Ismail Sabri also said he hopes that the people will use their power to elect a government capable of continuing the implementation of Budget 2023, maintaining political stability, reviving and strengthening the economy, as well as maintaining harmony and unity of the multi-religious and multi-racial Malaysian Family.

With the dissolution of the 14th Parliament, the prime minister also advised all heads of state governments to seek the consent of the rulers and governors to dissolve their respective state assemblies so that the state elections can be held simultaneously with the GE15.

The five-year mandate of the current government will expire in July 2023, and according to Article 55 (4) of the Federal Constitution, the GE15 must be held within 60 days of the dissolution of the Parliament.

"It is only right for the state elections to be held simultaneously to ensure that the people will not be burdened, besides ensuring smooth democratic process and reducing the overall costs," said the prime minister.

He said the dates of nomination, early voting, and polling, as well as other matters related to GE15, will be decided by the Election Commission (EC).

A total of 222 parliamentary seats are up for grabs in the GE15 to enable a new government to be formed to govern the country and its 32.4 million population.

Before the Parliament's dissolution, the composition of seats in the Dewan Rakyat saw Pakatan Harapan hold 90 seats, followed by Barisan Nasional (43), Bersatu (28), Gabungan Parti Sarawak (19), PAS (17), Warisan (seven), Parti Bangsa Malaysia (six), Parti Pejuang Tanah Air (four), and Independents (three) with MUDA, Parti Sarawak Bersatu, and STAR having one seat each.

Two seats, namely Gerik and Batu Sapi, remain vacant following the deaths of the incumbents.

At the state level, 361 state seats will be up for grabs if all states other than Sabah, Melaka, Sarawak, and Johor, agree to dissolve their state assemblies.

Sabah held its state election on Sept 26, 2020, followed by Melaka on Nov 20, 2021, Sarawak on Dec 18, 2021, and Johor on March 12, 2022.

The by-election for Sabah's Bugaya state seat, which was left vacant following the death of its incumbent Manis Muka Mohd Darah on Nov 17, 2020 and could not be held due to Covid-19, is expected to be held simultaneously with the GE15.

In order to ensure smooth running of the GE15, several election-related legislation had also been gazetted.

Last Thursday, six emergency ordinances and proclamations that prevented the by-elections for Batu Sapi, Gerik and Bugaya, promulgated in November and December 2020, were revoked.

Earlier last week, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (Parliament and Law) Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar also announced the enforcement of the anti-party hopping law or the Constitution (Amendment) (No 3) Act 2022 to prevent members of Parliament from switching parties, effective from Oct 5.

The Act was consented to by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong on Aug 31 and was gazetted on Sept 6.

Monday's announcement on the Parliament dissolution was quite similar to the situation that occurred in 1999 when the Parliament was also dissolved a few days after the tabling of the national budget.

Last Friday, Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz tabled the Budget 2023 with a total allocation of RM372.3 billion to ensure people's well-being, business continuity, economic prosperity, and efficiency of government's services.

In 1999, the then prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad announced the dissolution of the Parliament on Nov 10, not long after the national budget was tabled in Parliament on Oct 29.

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