MALACCA - After a prolonged tallying process and some heart-stopping moments, the MIC announced its new vice-presidents - Datuk S. Sothinathan, Datuk M. Saravanan and Datuk S. Balakrishnan.
Sothinathan made a stunning comeback with 717 votes to be the top VP, while incumbent Saravanan garnered 716 votes to rank second.
Balakrishnan, who is the Johor Baru MIC division chief, raked in 683 votes to clinch the last VP post.
Datuk Seri S.K. Devamany, the Perak Legislative Assembly Speaker who was the other incumbent besides Saravanan, was booted out and placed seventh among the eight VP candidates.
MIC treasurer-general Datuk Jaspal Singh, who was speculated to win third position at the initial tallying of votes on Saturday night, came in fourth with 670 votes followed by former MIC Youth chiefs Datuk S.A. Vigneswaran (573) and Datuk T. Mohan (530).
Businessman James C.S. Selvaraja got 52 votes.
The official results were supposed to have been announced on Saturday night but Saravanan sought a recount for all eight candidates after he finished a close second to Sothinathan during the initial tally.
The recount began at 11pm and ended at 5.30am, hours before Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak was scheduled to declare the party's general assembly open.
Announcing the final results, party president Datuk Seri G. Palanivel said the counting was undertaken by university students who had made some mistakes.
"We formed a committee headed by two lawyers and they conducted a check and confirmed the results," he told reporters.
Sothinathan, a former Deputy Minister who was VP between 2006 and 2009, pledged to serve the party and community with dedication.
"I am thankful that the delegates still value my services. I will concentrate on uplifting the social wellbeing of the community," added Sothinathan, who lost to Palanivel for the MIC deputy presidency in 2009.
Saravanan said the delegates had chosen the right leaders to take the party forward.