PM to hold BN council meeting on polls
Posted January 18, 2008on:
Friday January 18, 2008
KUALA LUMPUR: The Prime Minister has called for a Barisan Nasional supreme council on Monday here to finalise preparations for the coming general election expected to be called in weeks ahead.
Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who is the coalition chairman, has informed all the heads of the 14 component parties to attend the meeting at the Umno headquarters.
Informed sources said preparation for the elections would be the main agenda of the meeting.
The Barisan leaders were informed via SMS from the coalition headquarters here.
Abdullah, who returned from Madrid yesterday, is expected to request the leaders to provide the updates of the poll preparations by their parties, which have been stepped up.
All the Barisan component parties have completed their “dry runs” for Terengganu, Kelantan, Selangor and Johor, while the police have ordered a leave freeze for its personnel in anticipation of the polls.
Umno information chief Tan Sri Muhammad Muhammad Taib had said the party’s election preparation was now in overdrive, adding that all its party workers nationwide had been briefed.
Both Abdullah and his deputy, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, have also packed their schedule for the next two months with stops in various states.
On Sunday, Abdullah will meet 20,000 MIC members and supporters at the Cheras Badminton Stadium, where he is expected to make a major announcement.
The two leaders, who have made frequent trips to PAS-held Kelantan, are also expected to make another visit at the end of the month.
Said a Barisan leader: “This supreme council meeting would probably be the last before Parliament is dissolved. We will want to hear more from Pak Lah on Monday.”
Last year, there was only one Barisan
supreme council meeting on March 12. In 2006, there was also only one meeting, on June 16.
Another Barisan leader said that despite the hype of the coming elections, there was still a need for the coalition to carry out some “house-keeping” ahead of the polls.
“The meeting will enable leaders to inform the Prime Minister of their concerns and views on various issues. This will be a good occasion ahead of the polls.”
The leader said they expected the Parliament to be dissolved after the Chinese New Year and polling to take place in March, adding that schools had been identified as polling stations.
A Sabah Barisan leader said his party had already told “potential candidates” to submit their résumé to the leadership, adding
that they had been told to make preparations.
The DAP and Parti Keadilan Rakyat have announced the seats they would be contesting in Penang, while the former has launched its manifesto in the state, where a big political battle is shaping up between the Opposition and the Barisan.