Recount drama spices up MIC polls

MALACCA - After a day of drama, the MIC elections ended in a cliffhanger, with the announcement of the results for the posts of vice-presidents postponed to today.

The party made the decision after five recounts last night could not throw up the winners.

Party election chairman Tan Sri K. Kumaran said the last recount was requested by incumbent Datuk M. Saravanan.

Unofficial results however showed that former MIC vice-president Datuk S. Sothinathan has made a surprise comeback, clinching the top spot in the vice-president's post, with Saravanan coming in second and treasurer-general Datuk Jaspal Singh third.

Sothinathan, who was the former Teluk Kemang MP, garnered 686 votes, eight votes more than Saravanan with 678 votes.

Reliable sources said Jaspal clinched the third spot with 643 votes, easing out Johor Baru MIC division chairman Datuk S. Balakrishnan out of the race by two votes.

But there were several recounts, with Balakrishnan getting a 28-vote majority in the last recount of the night.

The sources said Saravanan then requested for a recount of all the votes garnered by the eight vice-president contestants.

The sources said former MIC Youth chief Datuk S.A. Vigneswaran was fifth with 555 votes followed by another former Youth chief Datuk T. Mohan with 525 votes.

Incumbent Datuk S.K. Devamany garnered 325 votes while businessman James C.S. Selvaraja received only 48 votes.

The counting of the vice-president votes started at about 8pm after the vote counting for the 23 central working committee (CWC) posts.

The 1,452 delegates cast their votes yesterday morning after two weeks of hectic campaigning.

Former Klang division chairman Datuk Raghu Moorthy topped the list of CWC candidates with 1,000 votes followed by former secretary-general datuk S. Murugessan with 970 votes.

Among the newcomers who made it into the CWC are Deputy Education Minister P. Kamalanathan, former MIC Youth treasurer J. Dhinagaran and Malacca MIC chairman Datuk M.S. Mahadevan.

Incumbents who lost include Negri Sembilan state chairman Datuk T. Rajagopalu, Serdang division chairman N. Rawisandran and former Perak speaker Datuk R. Ganesan.

Datuk Seri G. Palanivel and his deputy Datuk Seri Dr S. Subrama­niam were returned unopposed as president and deputy president ahead of today's general assembly.