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World Voters cast ballots in bellwether Malaysian state election

06:05  20 november  2021
06:05  20 november  2021 Source:   msn.com

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Elections in Malaysia include elections to public office of the political entities that since 1963 have comprised the federation of Malaysia . At present, elections in Malaysia exist at two levels: federal level and state level.

On election day, registered voters may cast their ballot for their chosen candidate in a designated voting centre. These voting centres are typically schools or community centres which have been procured for that day. All activities in the school are suspended for that day. Any Malaysian citizens above 21 years old must register in the voters ' registry with the Election Commission via any offices affiliated with the Election Commission, post offices with computerised facilities or specified counters, before he or she could vote in elections .

Malacca, Malaysia (AP) — Voters wearing masks cast their ballots on Saturday in a Malaysian state election that pits Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s Malay party against its allies in the government for the first time amid a widening rift.

Voters line up to enter a voting center on the outskirts of Malacca, Malaysia, Saturday, Nov. 20, 2021. The Malaysian southern state of Malacca hold elections that will be a test for Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob's ethnic Malay party as it face-off against its allies in the government for the first time amid a widening rift. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian) © Provided by Associated Press Voters line up to enter a voting center on the outskirts of Malacca, Malaysia, Saturday, Nov. 20, 2021. The Malaysian southern state of Malacca hold elections that will be a test for Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob's ethnic Malay party as it face-off against its allies in the government for the first time amid a widening rift. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)

The poll in southern Malacca state is seen as a bellwether for voting behavior that could shape political alliances in national elections, which are not due until 2023 but are widely expected to be called next year.

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The state poll will see a three-way fight between a camp led by Ismail’s United Malays National Organization, or UMNO, another by ally parties Bersatu and the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party, or PAS, and the opposition alliance led by Anwar Ibrahim.

UMNO and Bersatu, the two biggest parties in the ruling alliance, are at loggerheads but have agreed to share power until the next general election.

Voters queued up, a meter apart, outside schools and other polling centers to have their temperature scanned before being allowed to cast ballots for 28 state assemblymen. A total of 112 candidates are contesting, leading to tight races for all the seats. Nearly half a million people are eligible to vote until 5:30 p.m. (0930 GMT).

A woman casts her vote during a state election at a voting center in Malacca, Malaysia, Saturday, Nov. 20, 2021. The Malaysian southern state of Malacca hold elections that will be a test for Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob's ethnic Malay party as it face-off against its allies in the government for the first time amid a widening rift. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian) © Provided by Associated Press A woman casts her vote during a state election at a voting center in Malacca, Malaysia, Saturday, Nov. 20, 2021. The Malaysian southern state of Malacca hold elections that will be a test for Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob's ethnic Malay party as it face-off against its allies in the government for the first time amid a widening rift. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)

The Malacca polls were called after the UMNO-led state government collapsed when four assemblymen pulled their support. A victory would be a boost for UMNO, which had led Malaysia since independence from Britain in 1957 but was ousted in 2018 elections by Anwar’s reformist alliance amid a multibillion-dollar financial scandal.

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Some states enforce deadlines for receiving the ballots but don't require a postmark, due to the differences in how mail is processed domestically and overseas, especially on military installations or in combat zones. Pennsylvania and North Carolina are two examples. He appeared to be referring to the 8,410 absentee ballots in Georgia that were requested by and sent to service members and their families and other overseas voters -- but have not been received back by the state . There is nothing to indicate these votes are missing.

Anwar’s alliance, however, crumbled last year after Muhyiddin Yassin withdrew his Bersatu party and formed a new government with UMNO, PAS and several other parties. But Muhyiddin was forced to resign in August after infighting cost him majority support. Ismail, who was Muhyiddin’s deputy, then took office, bringing back UMNO’s rule.

Most observers believe the main fight is between UMNO and Anwar’s opposition alliance as Bersatu lacks grassroot strength.

A big win for UMNO could potentially lead to challenges in ruling party states that are helmed by Bersatu, accelerate plans to call for early general elections and may prompt PAS and other parties supporting Bersatu to review their alliance, analysts said.

Campaigning in Malacca, which is around a two-hour drive from Kuala Lumpur, has been muted amid strict rules as the country emerged from a virus lockdown last month after a successful vaccination roll-out. Political rallies, walkabouts and house visits were banned, taking the campaigning to social media and making results unpredictable.

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A Malaysian voter dips her finger on ink during a state election at a voting center in Malacca, Malaysia, Saturday, Nov. 20, 2021. The Malaysian southern state of Malacca hold elections that will be a test for Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob's ethnic Malay party as it face-off against its allies in the government for the first time amid a widening rift. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian) © Provided by Associated Press A Malaysian voter dips her finger on ink during a state election at a voting center in Malacca, Malaysia, Saturday, Nov. 20, 2021. The Malaysian southern state of Malacca hold elections that will be a test for Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob's ethnic Malay party as it face-off against its allies in the government for the first time amid a widening rift. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)

The polls come as Malaysia gradually reopens its borders to vaccinated travelers. The country has vaccinated more than 76% of its population, including most adults. Daily infections have dropped dramatically to around 6,000 from its peak of more than 20,000 in August. The country has recorded 2.57 million cases and nearly 30,000 deaths.

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usr: 1
This is interesting!