KUALA LUMPUR: Barisan Nasional (BN), particularly Umno, is expected to break with tradition and announce its list of candidates for the 14th General Election (GE14) earlier than nomination day.
It is learnt that a ceremony would be held at the Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC), where all candidates will be presented with letters of credentials by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who is BN chairman.
Sources say the coalition had never done this before, but BN is breaking with tradition this time round to inject a fighting spirit into candidates to face what has been termed as the “mother of all elections”.
In the last general election, Najib only presented letters of credentials to BN candidates through their respective component parties at a ceremony on April 15, 2013 — five days before nomination day.
“However, this time round, it will be done earlier,” a source revealed.
It is learnt that the ceremony will be held depending on when Parliament is dissolved, and the date of nomination day, which will be fixed by the Election Commission (EC).
MCA, Gerakan and MIC have announced 15 names to contest in GE14, but Umno has never announced its candidates early.
It was reported yesterday that the list of BN candidates for the election had been finalised.
Coalition secretary-general Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor was quoted as saying that Najib would announce the list “any time”.
In the last general election, BN fielded 33 per cent new faces and won 133 out of the 222 parliamentary seats it contested.
Umno won 88 of the 121 seats it contested.
The New Straits Times Press, in an exclusive last week, reported that the EC had completed its study into the redelineation of electoral boundaries for parliamentary and state constituencies. The report has since been handed to the prime minister.
It was also reported that the tabling of the motion on the redelineation of electoral borders, initially scheduled for March 29, had been brought forward, indicating the possibility that Parliament would be dissolved either at the end of the month, or early next month.
The motion of a draft constitutional order and a study report of the redelineation of parliamentary and state constituencies were expected to be tabled at the Dewan Rakyat as early as March 19, or at the latest by March 26.
Najib is expected to table the motion for its first reading, and the motion must be debated and passed with a simple majority.