he Bukit Gantang parliamentary and Bukit Selambau state by-elections will be held simultaneously on April 7. Nomination is on March 29.

Election Commission chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof made the announcement after chairing a special meeting to discuss the by-election dates, which lasted nearly two hours, at the EC headquarters here today.

The Bukit Gantang seat in Perak fell vacant after incumbent Roslan Shaharum of PAS died of a heart attack on Monday. On the same day, V. Arumugam of Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) resigned as Kedah’s Bukit Selambau assemblyman.

Abdul Aziz told a news conference that the writs for the by-elections would be issued on Feb 16 and and the notices on Feb 17.

Abdul Aziz said the electoral roll to be used was the Master Electoral Roll 2007 which had been merged with the supplementary electoral rolls for the first, second and third quarters of 2008.

He said there were 55,562 registered voters in the Bukit Gantang constituency comprising 55,426 ordinary voters and 136 postal voters while Bukit Selambau had 35,140 registered voters — 35,125 ordinary and 15 postal.

He said the electoral rolls without polling streams would be on sale from Feb 21 and those with polling streams on Feb 25.

There would be 32 polling centres and 111 polling streams in Bukit Gantang and 22 polling centres and 64 polling streams in Bukit Selambau.

The nomination and vote-counting centres for Bukit Gantang would be at the Taiping Municipal Town Hall while the centres for Bukit Selambau would be at Sekolah Menengah Teknik Satu, Sungai Petani.

Voters can check their polling centres at the EC web site at www.spr.gov.my of via SMS from Feb 25 by typing SPR IC number and sending to 15888. They can also call the EC headquarters in Putrajaya and the Perak and Kedah state election offices.