Tuesday, August 26, 2014

9 new state seats possible

by Peter Sibon, reporters@theborneopost.com. Posted on August 26, 2014, Tuesday
Datu Takun Sunggah

EC to start delineation exercise in December, the last one in 2001 produced 9 additional seats
KUCHING: Around nine new state seats may be created when the Election Commission (EC) conducts its delineation exercise in December this year.

EC state director Datu Takun Sunggah said the last delineation exercise in 2001 yielded nine new state seats. Currently, Sarawak has 71 state seats and 31 parliamentary seats.

“This time around, there could be more than nine (seats), or it could be less. It all depends on EC,” he told The Borneo Post yesterday.

He said among the criteria to create new boundaries were the size and population of the seat to be delineated.

“Constituencies such as Belaga and Baram have fewer voters but have big areas. This needs to be looked into. In some urban areas, the number of voters is as high as 30,000, but the area is small. This needs to be looked into as well.”

He said the coming delineation exercise might not involve parliamentary seats.

“It all depends on EC whether there is such a need.”

On another matter, Takun said the allocation of seats was for the political parties to decide, not EC.

Meanwhile, state BN secretary-general Datuk Dr Stephen Rundi said the state BN had not decided on how the new seats would be allocated.

“But we are confident the chief minister, who is also the state BN chairman, will be wise enough on how these seats should be distributed among the four BN component parties.”

Currently, PBB is allocated 35 seats, SUPP 19, PRS nine and SPDP eight.

On whether the new seats would solve the problem of overlapping claims by the BN-friendly Parti Tenaga Rakyat Sarawak (Teras) and United People’s Party (UPP), Dr Rundi said the state BN committee had not discussed this issue yet.

Teras has five seats and UPP four. Their elected representatives are formerly from SPDP and SUPP respectively.

“The issue of seat allocation has not been discussed yet. In addition, the state BN committee has not met yet,” said Dr Rundi.

Read more: http://www.theborneopost.com/2014/08/26/9-new-state-seats-possible/#ixzz3BVik7uli

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