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Three-corner fight in Permatang Pauh

Three-corner fight in Permatang PauhParti Keadilan Rakyat’s de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim sets out to win back the Permatang Pauh constituency. He is accompanied here by his wife Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and others from Pakatan Rakyat, at the nomination centre on 16 Aug 2008 (Photo by Danny Lim)BUKIT MERTAJAM, 16 Aug 2008: The Permatang Pauh parliamentary by-election on 26 Aug 2008 will see a three-corner fight involving Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) advisor Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Barisan Nasional (BN)’s Datuk Arif Shah Omar Shah, and Angkatan Keadilan Insan Malaysia (Akim) president Hanafi Mamat.

Akim is a PAS splinter party that was registered on 16 Feb 1995 and has 10,000 members nationwide.

Returning officer Roslan Yahaya announced the candidates at the nomination centre at the Tuanku Bainun Teaching Institute here at 11.45am after the objection period ended at 11am.

He said five objections were received, but none of the nominations were rejected.

Asked by reporters later about the nomination of a fourth candidate, Dr Mansor Othman, who is the former Penang PKR chairperson, he said Dr Mansor withdrew his nomination without giving any reason before the candidates’ names were announced.

However, he lost his deposit because he withdrew after the nomination period ended at 10am, Roslan said, adding that any candidate can withdraw his nomination within the next three days.

Dr Mansor told reporters he withdrew after Anwar’s nomination was accepted, but declined to comment further.

Three-corner fight in Permatang Pauh
Datuk Arif Shah Omar Shah, Barisan Nasional’s candidate, at the nomination centre on 16 Aug 2008. Arih Shah, who is also the Seberang Jaya state assemblyman, is seen as the underdog in this by-election (Photo by Danny Lim)

The by-election for the Permatang Pauh parliamentary constituency — which has 58,459 voters, 69% of whom are Malays, 25% Chinese and 6% Indians and others — is being held after Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail resigned as its MP to make way for her husband, Anwar, to contest the seat.

Anwar held the seat from 1982 until 1999, when he was convicted and jailed for corruption. As Umno division chief for Permatang Pauh, Anwar had acted as mentor for Arif Shah.

Anwar led the opposition to a thumping victory in the 8 March 2008 elections. Since becoming eligible to contest in elections again, he is attempting to get back into Parliament to become the next prime minister. However, he faces a charge of sodomising his former aide, Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, an issue which is expected to feature prominently in the by-election. – Bernama

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