SANDAKAN - Pakatan Rakyat has named lawyer Ansari Abdullah as its candidate for the Batu Sapi by-election, while BN's PBS raised eyebrows by naming the widow of the late Edmund Chong as its candidate.
Former Sabah chief minister Yong Teck Lee of SAPP has already declared his intention to join the contest.
Sunday's announcements complete the three key figures battling for the seat left vacant by Edmund, who was killed in a bike accident earlier this month. It also sets the stage for a thrilling fight in what had initially been believed would be a predictable walkover for the PBS.
AnsariSeveral independent candidates are expected to throw their hats into the ring as the Election Commission has revealed more than 20 sets of nomination papers have been sold.
How they stack up
Ansari, a prominent lawyer, is also the Tuaran PKR division chief. Party insiders say he is a well-liked figure and regarded as being one of the fast-rising leaders in the 'new-breed' reforms-oriented movement within Sabah PKR.
As for 54-year old Linda Tsen, she is also no stranger to politics, being a vice-president and executive council member of the PBS Wanita's central leadership.
LindaHowever, political watchers say it may be too soon to hail her agreement to contest her late husband's seat as a BN coup. Although she may garner a lot of sympathy votes, it may not be enough to win in Sabah's extremely competitive political arena, they warned.
Working against her will be the flamboyant and well-seasoned Yong Teck Lee, who can be expected to mount a strong challenge for the Chinese vote! s.
PKR people believe this will boost Ansari's chances as he will not only be able to tap into the Muslim electorate, but can also count on the Pakatan's multiracial reach for support from the non-Muslims.
Yong Teck LeeThe Batu Sapi electorate is made up of 59 percent or 15,099 Muslim bumiputra, 38 percent or 9,737 Chinese, 2.69 percent or 689 non-Muslim bumiputra and 0.22 percent or 57 others.
The late Edmund was a two-term MP for Batu Sapi.
Nomination day is on Tuesday, Oct 26, while balloting is on Nov 4.
Concurrently, another by-election will be taking place in Galas, Kelantan, where the main contest will centre around PAS' Dr Zulkefli Mohamad and Umno's Abdul Aziz Yusof.
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