KUALA TERENGGANU, 15 Jan 2009: The Election Commission (EC) expects the voter turnout in the Kuala Terengganu parliamentary by-election on 17 Jan to be about the same as that during the general election last year.
Then, 82.45% or 66,231 of the 80,325 voters turned out to cast their ballots. The constituency now has 80,229 voters, including 1,302 postal voters.
Terengganu EC director Mohd Noor Daud said today the anticipation of a high voter turnout was based on the heightened state of awareness among the voters to exercise their right.
“Even the contesting political parties are seen to be working hard to ensure that as many people as possible come out to vote on Saturday,” he said when contacted.
The by-election is a three-cornered contest among Datuk Wan Ahmad Farid Wan Salleh of the Barisan Nasional (BN), Mohd Abdul Wahid Endut of PAS and independent candidate Azharudin Mamat alias Adam.
The EC will make available 36 polling centres with 143 polling streams for the by-election on 17 Jan.
Mohd Noor also said the EC had not received any report on a claim by PAS that the by-election returning officer, Datuk Mat Razali Kassim, had used his position as the mayor of Kuala Terengganu to ask his staff to support the BN candidate.
The by-election is being held following the death of Kuala Terengganu MP, Datuk Razali Ismail, who was deputy education minister, on 28 Nov 2008 at the Aminuddin Baki Institute in Genting Highlands. — Bernama