KUALA LUMPUR (BERNAMA, THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The elections for various posts in Malaysia's dominant Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) began on Saturday (Sept 22), with members in Kedah and Penang being the first to go to the polls as early as 9am.
The contest for the post of deputy president is a straight fight between Gombak MP and Economic Affairs Minister Azmin Ali and former Pandan MP Rafizi Ramli.
The members will elect the vice-presidents, Angkatan Muda Keadilan (Youth) chief, Wanita (Women's) chief and members of the Central Leadership Council.
Also, at these elections, the members will pick their representatives at the divisional level, namely the chief, deputy chief, vice-chiefs and 15 divisional committee members as well as the divisional Youth chief, Youth deputy chief, Youth vice-chiefs and 15 Youth committee members.
The members will also elect the divisional Wanita chief, Wanita deputy chief, Wanita vice-chiefs and seven Wanita committee members.
The party elections will see history in the making as the system of electronic voting, or e-voting, is being used for the first time.
But the first e-voting process did not go off without a hitch in Kedah. The names of candidates and voters went missing in the voting app after the system hung, leading to a fight and the postponement of voting in seven divisions.
A voter in Merbok reportedly lost his cool after discovering that the names of certain candidates had gone missing from the e-ballots. A video of him wielding a white stick and hitting someone after suspecting sabotage has gone viral on social media.
The police reportedly arrested two men in connection with the fight.
Kedah PKR chairman Dr Azman Ismail, who is Kuala Kedah MP, said voting in seven divisions had to be postponed because the voting stations could not even connect to the Internet.
He said there were also issues with the voting app. "Sometimes, the candidates' names don't appear even though they are listed on paper."
He said the app was fine during the test run in Klang Valley.
"We apologise to all our members. This is the first time any party has done electronic voting," he said.
"I foresee that someday, every party in Malaysia will do electronic voting. Since we are the first, there was bound to be problems," said Dr Azman.
A total of 800,000 PKR members around the country are eligible to vote in the elections.
The elections in Perlis and Perak will take place on Sept 23; Melaka, Sept 29; Johor, Sept 30; Kelantan and Terengganu, Oct 5; Pahang, Oct 6; Federal Territories, Oct 7; Selangor, Oct 13, 14 and 21; Negri Sembilan, Oct 20; Sarawak, Oct 20 and 21 and Sabah, Oct 27 and 28.