Early voting begins in Malaysia general elections

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Kuala Lumpur, May 5 (IANS) Malaysia’s Election Commission (EC) on Saturday opened 586 polling centres for early voting ahead of the country’s general elections scheduled for May 9.

The early voters comprised 278,590 Royal Malaysia Police, Malaysian Armed Forces and Special Task Force personnel and their spouses, reports Channel News Asia.

They form the bulk of the 300,255 people who are eligible for early voting, according to the EC.

The polling centres which opened at 8 a.m., will close in stages between 5 and 7 p.m.

The votes will not be counted on Saturday. The ballot boxes will be kept safely in police station lockups.

A total of 14,940,624 voters are expected to cast their ballots in the 14th general election.

Malaysian Prime Minister, Najib Razak, is the favourite to renew his term as a candidate of the United Malays National Organization (UMNO), the leading party of the National Front coalition that has governed the country since 1974, reports Efe news.

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However, latest surveys have revealed that the opposition coalition, led by veteran former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, might narrow the gap.

–IANS

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