Kuala Lumpur – MIC successfully completes its 3rd phase of its election process – the divisional elections – as of today. Surprisingly, as many expected, there were no major incidents as the nominations and elections proceeded in a smooth and democratic manner.
MIC sources said that former President Dato Seri G.Palanivel’s faction and some quarters were hoping that the divisional elections will be marred by some untoward incidents but nothing took place.
Only a handful of divisions were directed to hold re-nominations due to some technicalities and a majority of the 147 divisions have successfully completed their divisional elections with as many as 103 division chairmen being elected without a contest.
Some reasons are attributed for the smooth progress of the divisional elections.
Reason # 1 – absence of Palanivel faction’s branches
During the nominations for MIC branches, many branches aligned to Palanivel opted to stay out. Observers say, this number could easily reach about 300, (out of 3,200 registered branches as at 2012) spread across the country and the chairmen of these branches are hard-core supporters of Palanivel.
Their failure to participate in the branch election nominations paved the way for smooth divisional elections as these are the potential branch leaders who would have contested in the divisions.
Undoubtedly natural elimination of these Palanivel faction’s branches in the party’s system has further entrenched current President Dr Subra’s support base in the party, MIC sources said.
At the end of the branch nominations approximately 2,843 branches took part and successfully completed their branch elections.
Reason # 2 – Divisional leaders’ compromise for the sake of party
With the absence of Palanivel faction’s branches staying out of the election process, most of the remaining branch chairmen were unanimous in their support for Dr Subra’s leadership and this paved the way for them to have internal negotiations which led to compromises and position-sharing formulas in many divisions.
Since most of them strongly supported Dr Subra’s leadership it became easier for them to forge a compromise in their respective divisions.
The branch leaders were also exhausted with the party’s struggles with RoS and other court battles for the past one year and they were only interested in bringing unity and peace into the party so that all the RoS isssues could be quickly resolved, and some in this regard were willing to sacrifice their own positions in the divisions for the sake of the party.
Such maneuvers would not have been possible if Palanivel faction’s branches had chosen to remain in the party’s system.
Reason # 3 – Dr Subra’s political approach
MIC sources also revealed that above all there was another major reason for the smooth completion of divisional elections.
“MIC President Dr Subra took the unprecedented approach of meeting the key divisional leaders prior to the elections and this was the major reason for the smooth election process. Subra traveled across the country meeting the key leaders individually to identify the contentious issues in their respective divisions and genuinely offered solutions and compromises. Party Presidents did not take such approaches in the past. They would only do so if the contests are among their own supporters. Otherwise the former party presidents encouraged contests in some divisions by instigating from behind the scenes. When Subra himself came down and talked to the divisions individually to solve their issues, many compromised since it is the president himself who is giving the advice. Wherever possible Subra met the warring factions in the presence of other national leaders such as Secretary General, Treasurer General and Vice Presidents and such an approach reduced the heat and politicking” said one source familiar with the MIC’s divisional elections.
Subra himself in press statement claimed: “I listened very attentively to their (division leaders) issues and challenges and offered my sincere advice to overcome it. As result we witnessed 103 division chairmen being elected unopposed with only 11 divisions facing full scale office-bearer elections. It is my noble intention to bring unity and foster close relationship among leaders within MIC”
Race for national elections begins!
As MIC enters its fourth and final phase of election process – the national level elections – intense campaigns have already started.
The MIC General Assembly and the national elections are expected to be held on the 25th of October 2015.
The Deputy President’s position is expected to be contested by Vice Presidents Datuk M.Saravanan and Datuk Seri S.K.Devamany.
About 10 candidates are said to be vying for the 3 Vice Presidential slots and as many as 50 candidates may try out their chances to win one of the 23 CWC positions.
In between, keen contests are expected in Youth, Women, Putera and Puteri divisions.
Will there be a Subra line-up in the elections?
However, he is also mindful of the democratic principles and practices that have to be upheld and said to have confided to some quarters that he prefers a “free for all” contests at all levels without he himself taking any sides or supporting anyone, an approach he feels would be healthy for the party and would help the party delegates to choose national leaders of their choice without any coercion.
If he makes that decision he will also be departing from the usual path taken by MIC’s former Presidents, who always supported and coerced delegates to choose candidates preferred by them.
But one “date” stands in between, as a thorn in the flesh, as MIC progresses to complete its historic re-election process.
It is October 21st!
It is the date on which the Federal Court will hear an application for leave for appeal by Dato Seri Palanivel and Tan Sri S.Balakrishnan against the RoS decisions, on the Judicial Review case which they lost in High Court and Court of Appeal.