KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 10 — Despite initial resistance to an early 15th general election (GE15), Perikatan Nasional (PN) said that it will abide by the decision, as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong had consented to it.

During a press conference today, coalition chairman, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, also called on the authorities, including the Election Commission (EC), to facilitate access to voting centres in the event of floods.

“This is what we have said from the start: As much as possible, don’t do it. But if it must happen, we must get them there. We must bring out those who are incapacitated. Sick or not sick. How else then?

“The party’s election machinery, the government’s election machinery and the EC’s machinery must make it work in such a way.

“Let us not have people say that because the situation did not allow it, we too did not perform our duties.

“This means we must do even more work now, so that voters can exercise their right to vote in the current circumstances,” Muhyiddin said.

Muhyiddin also said that PN’s seat negotiations among its coalition members was almost done.

He added that incumbents would be allowed to defend their seats, while talks were ongoing for those seats that more than one party had expressed an interest in contesting.

He said that PN stands a good chance in the national poll, as both Umno and Barisan Nasional’s (BN) popularity has been waning.

“This is a fact supported by research,” he said, pointing to court cases affecting some BN leaders, as well as integrity issues.

He said PN did not believe in the notion of BN or Umno “fortresses”, adding that the coalition had already made headway in such areas, which it believes it can win with planning and strategy.

Muhyiddin said that PN had also begun drawing up a list of candidates who will be vetted according to several criteria including public acceptance and background.

He said the names would be announced as soon as possible.

Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah said today that he had no choice but to give his consent for the dissolution of Parliament sought by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob due to “disappointing” political developments.

In a statement issued by the Comptroller of the Royal Household Datuk Ahmad Fadil Shamsuddin, the Agong said this was to return the mandate to Malaysians to elect a new and stable government.

He further stressed that a strong nation was crucial to ensuring continued political stability and economic prosperity for the sake of the country and its people.

In granting the consent, the Agong said the decision was made in accordance with his authority as under Articles 40(2)(b) and 55(2) of the Federal Constitution.

His Majesty also said Ismail Sabri had sought an unscheduled audience around noon on October 9 seeking Parliament’s dissolution effective October 10.