07 Januari 2010

MCA: No fresh polls in January

20 Muharram 1431H

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 5: MCA deputy president Chua Soi Lek has said there will not be any party polls this month as had been anticipated by many, including rival factions led by Health Minister Liow Tiong Lai.

But he did not rule out the possibility of fresh elections after January as that depended on whether enough numbers of central committee members would resign.

According to Chua, only 13 CC members had quit so far, eight short of the 21 needed to force fresh polls as stipulated by the party constitution. The MCA constitution also states that any fresh elections must be held within 30 days once 21 of the 31 elected representatives resign.

“It is very difficult to hold fresh polls this month. But this does not mean that there will not be any fresh polls,” Chua, head of the special committee for fresh election, told reporters after chairing an hour-long meeting.

“The CC members have the right to resign at anytime they want. There are those who want to resign but they might do so after Chinese New Year.”

Wracked by leadership crisis

The MCA, once the premier Chinese-based party in the country, is now split into bitter factions. Chua, who was once at the centre of a sex-video scandal, has made peace with party president Ong Tee Keat.

In fact, it was their bitter struggle to topple each other that directly precipitated the current leadership crisis in the party and led to the calls from top BN leaders to hold fresh party elections.

Three main factions have emerged since the October 10 extraordinary general meeting held last year when top delegates voted out both Tee Keat and Chua, although they have managed to cling on to their positions.

The third faction is led by party vice-president Liow, who is said to have the backing of Youth chief Wee Ka Siong and Wanita head Chew Mei Fun. Along with 12 other party leaders, Liow had submitted undated letters of resignation on December 15 in a bid to trigger fresh polls.

When approached by reporters, Liow expressed disappointment as he has the most to lose if the status quo remained.

"Since we have decided to have re-election there is no reason to ponder too long. That is what I reiterated to this meeting. We want the CC to take this seriously and make a decision as soon as possible," Liow said.


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