KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 31  — The Election Commission (EC) will issue new standard operating procedures (SOP) for elections soon in view of the current COVID-19 situation in the country.

Its chairman Datuk Abdul Ghani Salleh said the SOP would take into account three recommendations made by the Ministry of Health (MOH) such as no interstate and interdistrict travels, no mass gatherings during campaigns and no house visits.

“Once the new SOP is ready, we will announce it.  We will also take into consideration views from other parties,” he told Bernama TV when contacted here, today.

Abdul Ghani said there would also be stricter rules, such as for social media campaign, which would be explained later.

However, he said, the existing SOP was still in place in line with the COVID-19 Prevention Guidelines for the Implementation of Election issued by the EC.

Previously, the EC has set several new guidelines for the Batu Sapi parliamentary by-election which is scheduled to be held on Dec 5.

Among them are no house-to-house visits or walkabout by candidates or their supporters during the campaign.

The EC also suggested that contesting candidates or parties only allowed to open one operation room.

Yesterday, Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham recommended that no election be held for the time being.

However, he said if the election could not be avoided, MOH suggested that it was held in full compliance with its three recommendations.



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