ELECTION SUSPENSE TONIGHT? NAJIB WON’T DISSOLVE PARLIAMENT YET – PUAD GIVES THE GAME AWAY, SAYS SPECIAL BN MEET TO DISCUSS SEATS

KUALA LUMPUR — A special Barisan Nasional supreme council meeting tonight has triggered predictions that Parliament will soon be dissolved to pave way for the 14th general election.

Political analyst Professor Mohd Azizuddin Mohd Sani said there were signs that tonight’s meeting agenda will centre on the national polls, and predicted that the ruling coalition will make its final preparations there.

“All parties have started their campaign at the grassroots level and criticisms against opponents have been intense lately,” he was quoted as saying in New Straits Times.

Another political expert, Sivamurugan Pandian, said he expects BN chairman Datuk Seri Najib Razak to use tonight’s meeting to gauge the coalition’s preparedness for the poll that must be held by August, but is expected to be called soon.

“Najib may touch on quality of candidates that he is looking for, as well as a winning formula or the 2Rs formula: to retain and regain (seats),” Sivamurugan was quoted as saying.

In the same report, Umno supreme council member Datuk Mohd Puad Zarkashi said that he believed Najib would not announce the dissolution of the Parliament yet, but will instead touch on ground rules and expectations for BN components.

Some parties have begun staking their claims for seats to contest, including those that are traditionally given to partners.

“I am confident the meeting is not to discuss the date of the election,” Puad said in the NST report.

MCA publicity spokesperson Datuk Seri Ti Lian Ker said the meeting could discuss strategies to not just win the election, but to secure a stronger mandate.

“This meeting is important because it will determine the next five years of the country’s direction,” he said.

The meeting is expected to be held at 9pm at the Putra World Trade Centre.

Najib is also scheduled to launch a special online portal on the general election called TheRakyat at the same venue tonight.

BN retained power in Election 2013, but did not regain the parliamentary supermajority it lost in 2008.

MALAY MAIL

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