Malaysian Indian Congress party polls this year

Singapore, June 18 (IANS) The organisational elections of the Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC) will be held within this year as against the party’s earlier decision to hold these from January next year.

After a meeting of the party’s central working committee (CWC) at the party headquarters in Kuala Lumpur Tuesday, MIC president G. Palanivel announced that the decision to hold the party elections this year has been taken following advice from Malaysia’s Registrar of Societies (RoS), media reports said.

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

After the elections, it was decided that the party would hold its organisational elections in 2014.

Tuesday’s meeting was convened following reports that the party might face de-registration as one party branch chairman had complained to the RoS about the organisational elections being planned for 2014.

Palanivel told the media Tuesday that nominations for the president’s post will be filed Sep 1 and any contest will be held Sep 22.

The president will be elected by 3,900 branch chairmen of the party.

Branch elections will be held July 12-Aug 4 and divisional elections from September to October.

Elections for the party’s deputy president, three vice presidents and 23 members of the CWC will be held either in November or December this year.

Formed in 1946, the MIC is one of the oldest political parties in Malaysia. It is one of the three major constituents of Malaysia’s ruling Barisan Nasional coalition, the other two being the United Malays National Organisation and the Malaysian Chinese Association.

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

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

In this year’s general elections in the country, 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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