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Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg speaks during a virtual press conference April 19, 2021. — Picture by Sarawak Information Department
Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg speaks during a virtual press conference April 19, 2021. — Picture by Sarawak Information Department

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KUCHING, July 27 — Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg today said the state election could be held within 60 days from the end of Emergency on August 1 if three conditions were met.

“First, whether the Covid-19 situation in the state has improved based on the number of positive cases and secondly whether the Election Commission (EC) has completed the SOPs for the conduct of the election and what sorts of SOPs that the EC has decided,” he told reporters after launching the Orang Ulu Chamber of Commerce and Industry here.

“Thirdly, as far as we are concerned, health is more important and we don’t want to be the cause of spreading Covid-19 as what happened to Sabah last year when it held its state election,” he said.

On the other hand, the chief minister said the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) coalitions also needed a new mandate from the people to continue governing.

“So, it is up to the EC and the Ministry of Health to look into all these issues. The decisions are theirs to make,” he said.

He said things would be clear in the next week or two.

“If the Emergency ends on August 1 as expected, then the state election must be held within 60 days. But we must make sure that the conditions are conducive,” he added.

He said there must be an improvement in the Covid-19 situation, adding that the people would vote if they were not afraid of being infected.

Asked about the status of the state assembly, he replied: “It is still there. But let us see between now and August 1.”

The term of the current state assembly expired on June 6, but due to the proclamation of Emergency, it was suspended and the state election was put on hold.

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