Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who had yesterday denied that Parliament will not be dissolved today, announced the dissolution in Kuala Lumpur at noon today.
He also called on all States, except for Sarawak which had just held its State election about two years ago, to dissolve their State Legislative Assemblies to pave way for a simultaneous Parliamentary and State elections to be held.
This dissolution of Parliament is 15 months ahead of its five years term end on May 16, 2009. The 11th general election was held on March 21, 2004.
A total of 222 parliamentary seats will be up for grab this time, three more than the last election due to the new seats in Sarawak following the electoral delineation in 2006. At State level, 505 seats will be contested,
Before the dissolution today, Barisan Nasional held 199 seats in Parliament and the opposition DAP (12), Pas (6), Parti Keadilan Rakyat (1) and an Independent one in Sandakan, Sabah.
The Election Commission will meet tomorrow to fix the dates of nomination and polling.
Now the next thing to watch will be candidates and incumbents dropped from defending their respective seats.