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Thursday, March 19, 2009

Pakatan to name candidate for Bt Gantang on Monday

By SuaraKeADILAN English Team | March 19, 2009

PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang will announce the party’s candidate for the parliamentary by-election in Bukit Gantang, Perak, on Monday.

“We will hold a meeting on March 23 and announce the name of the candidate at night,” said PAS election director Mustafa Ali today.

“From the information I have received, the PAS election machinery is running smoothly. There is minor improvement to be made before the by-election.”

The seat fell vacant following the death of PAS MP Roslan Shaharum on Feb 9, who suffered a fatal heart heart attack.

Nomination for the by-election is on March 29 and polling on April 7.

Primarily a straight fight between PAS and Umno

The by-election will primarily be a straight fight between the Pakatan Rakyat and Umno-Barisan Nasional.

The BN has named Umno Bukit Gantang information chief Ismail Saffian as its candidate.

In the March 2008 general elction, the late Roslan defeated Umno treasurer Azim Zabidi by a majority of 1,566 votes. Bukit Gantang is a Malay majority seat with 27 percent Chinese and 10 percent Indian voters.

PAS has been keeping its cards close to its chest, but a hot favourite for the seat is said to be the immensely popular Pakatan Perak Menteri Besar Nizar Jamaluddin.

Nizar has the support of Perakians, although he was pushed out on Feb 5 after a controversial decision from the Sultan, who decided to transfer the state government to an Umno-BN line-up proposed by Najib.

However, PAS spiritual adviser Nik Aziz Nik Mat has cautioned against over-confidence, advising that other suitable party members be considered as well.

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