Malaysian Indian party’s presidential poll April 12

February 19th, 2009 - 5:37 pm ICT by IANS  

Kuala Lumpur, Feb 19 (IANS) The Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC) will hold its presidential election April 12, its long-time president S. Samy Vellu announced Thursday.
He said that the central working committee has decided on the dates as the election has to be held before the president’s term expires May 25, Star Online said. The nominations are scheduled for March 22.

To a query on whether he would contest for the top post, Vellu replied: “Maybe.”

He has been the president since 1979 and is expected to file nomination for another three-year term, the website of The Star newspaper said.

Former MIC vice president M. Muthupalaniappan had earlier announced that he wanted to contest for the president’s post this time.

Anyone wanting to contest for president must obtain 300 nominations from the branches to be eligible to contest.

The 22 members of the 3,800 branches are eligible to cast their vote in the presidential election if there is a contest.

MIC, the country’s largest party representing two million-plus ethnic Indians, has witnessed serious internal dissensions since it fared badly in the general election in March last year.

Vellu himself lost his ninth bid to re-enter parliament.

During a period of what he called “re-branding” of the party since the debacle, Vellu has been under pressure to make way for another leader, but he has fought back.

In the recent weeks, however, he prevented expulsion of Muthupalaniappan after a row and disciplinary action.

He also facilitated the return of another critic, K.P. Samy.

MIC at present has three members in parliament.

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