PAS freezing GE15 seat talks with UMNO is news to Mohamad Hasan

PAS freezing GE15 seat talks with UMNO is news to Mohamad Hasan
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MELAKA (April 11): UMNO deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan has said he is unaware if seat allocation discussions for the 15th general election (GE15) between the party and PAS have been put on hold.

As far as the former Negeri Sembilan menteri besar is concerned, talks on the matter are still ongoing by the Muafakat Nasional (MN) main committee held every fortnight.

"I read about this (talks being suspended) in the media, but in the recent (MN main committee) meeting, we stated that discussions on seat allocations between UMNO and PAS would continue.

"In fact, we agreed on a formula that our respective parties would defend the seats that we won, and also another formula whereby between the two, the one which garnered the highest votes (in the seats they lost) would get to contest the seats concerned," he told reporters after officiating at the Bangkit 15 programme closing ceremony here today.

The media quoted PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang as saying that PAS had sent its representatives for seat allocation discussions with Bersatu, adding that similar talks with UMNO had been put on hold as the party (UMNO) was currently facing internal issues.

Responding to this, Mohamad said UMNO will seek clarification from PAS at the next MN meeting, adding that both parties are still on good terms.

When asked about calls by some quarters within UMNO for the party to hold election, which was originally scheduled for this June, he said that would depend on ongoing developments, especially the Covid-19 pandemic which has kept recording high numbers.

"In the current situation, we are looking at (daily cases of) Covid-19, because, during elections, members must be present, but currently there are difficulties as the pandemic has not eased. We need to adhere to standard operating procedures (SOPs).

"For example in the Rembau (UMNO division), there are 1,100 delegates and, therefore, we have to look for a hall that can accommodate 3,000 people to comply with the SOPs. We cannot just allow 20% to attend, as the meeting will be declared null and void. Those are the constraints we are now looking into," he said.