Malaysia Parliament to be dissolved tomorrow?

KUALA LUMPUR - Parliament is expected to be dissolved as early as tomorrow after the cabinet meeting in Putrajaya, paving the way for the 13th general election.

Speculation is mounting following the distribution of letters by the Prime Minister's Office, requesting all cabinet ministers to attend the meeting in a dark lounge suit and red tie for a photography session.

If Parliament is dissolved tomorrow, nomination of candidates is likely to be held later next week, while polling day will fall on April 27 at the latest.

According to practice, the cabinet ministers will have a photo session with the prime minister and his deputy at the final meeting of the cabinet, followed by an announcement on the dissolution of parliament afterwards.

It is understood that the photo session would be done before tomorrow's cabinet meeting and Datuk Seri Najib Razak would subsequently hold a press conference to announce the dissolution of parliament.

Tradition dictates that the prime minister will first meet the Yang di-Pertuan Agong before the cabinet meeting to seek his consent to dissolve Parliament.

Several ministers contacted confirmed that they have received the letters, and did not discount the possibility that Najib would announce Parliament's dissolution after the meeting.

"I have received the letter. This could well be the final cabinet meeting for this term, as according to tradition, Parliament is dissolved after that," said one minister.

If parliament is dissolved tomorrow, it would mark a full four years to the date Najib first helmed the country after he was appointed as Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's successor in 2009.

The government's full five-year term will end on April 30, after which Parliament will automatically dissolve.

The Election Commission (EC) will then have 60 days to hold the election to set up a new government.

Last Thursday, the Negri Sembilan state legislative assembly was the first to automatically dissolve. It is now governed by a caretaker government.

Deputy EC chairman Datuk Wan Ahmad Wan Omar said if Parliament is dissolved tomorrow, the EC would call for a special meeting as soon as possible to decide on basic matters such as the electoral roll, letters of appointment to election officers, as well as the dates for the nomination of candidates and polling day.

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