Malaysian Indian Congress to hold its polls in 2014

Singapore, May 25 (IANS) The organisational elections of the Malyasian Indian Congress (MIC), including the presidential election, will be held in 2014, a media report said Saturday.

The party’s acting president G. Palanivel said that the presidential election will be held between January and March next year and this will be followed by elections of other top office-bearers.

Formed in 1946, the MIC is one of the oldest political parties in Malaysia.

It is one of the three major constituents of that country’s ruling Barisan Nasional coalition, other two being the United Malays National Organisation and the Malaysian Chinese Association.

Speaking after a meeting of the party’s Central Working Committee (CWC), Palanivel said that a committee would be formed by November this year to oversee the elections.

He also brushed aside speculations that the chairmen of the party’s state units have been pushed to pass a “no contest” resolution for the president’s post.

“I did not ask the states to do that. If anyone wants to challenge me, it is up to them,” the Malaysian Star quoted him as saying.

“I am not thinking about it right now. People can challenge me or return me unopposed. That is not important to me. My focus is to strengthen the party.”

The party last held its organisational elections in 2009 when S. Samy Vellu was elected president for a record 11th consecutive time.

He had stepped down in 2010 and Palanivel had taken over as acting president.

The party was supposed to hold the elections last year but postponed it because of the general elections in Malaysia held May 5 this year.

Despite high expectations, the party did not fare well at the hustings, managing just four parliamentary seats, the same number it held prior to the polls, and five state seats, down from seven it held earlier.

Ethnic Indians comprise a little over seven percent of Malaysia’s total population of nearly 30 million.

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