12 July 2013

Straight fight in Kuala Besut

Barisan Nasional's (BN) Tengku Zaihan Che Ku Abd Rahman and PAS's Azlan Yusof will contest in a straight fight in the Kuala Besut by-election on July 24, after nominations closed today.

Returning officer A Rahim Jusoh announced the candidates' names at 10.26am. Campaigning begins today for 12 days in the rural seat in the northeast corner of Terengganu.

While it is an uphill battle for PAS, a victory for the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) component party will lead to a hung state assembly. BN now holds 16 seats in the 32-seat assembly to PR's 15.

Mindful of this, BN deputy chairman Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said Zaihan’s victory is crucial to the state’s political stability and prevent a hung assembly.

“If not, there will be other effects that I dare not speak of on the state constitution, position of the monarch, political stability, and the possibility of fresh elections,” he said.

He said the best way to avoid this is to vote BN.

“At least the situation would return to status quo, stable, and the state government can continue its development agenda,” he said.

The stage is now set for the first by election after the 13th general election in May.

It is being held following the death of Dr A. Rahman Mokhtar on June 26 due to lung disease.

In the May 5 polls, Rahman received 8,809 votes while his rival from PAS, Napisah Ismail, got 6,375 votes.

The Barisan Nasional has won all contests for the seat in all the past general elections except in 1959, 1969, 1974 and 1999.

Both candidates are local and debutants in the electoral game.

BN’s Tengku Zaihan, 37, is a USM trained engineer while Azlan, 48,  or Che Long as he is fondly called, is a businessman.

Barisan Nasional deputy chairman Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and PAS president Datuk Seri Hadi Awang, who arrived about the same time, greeted each other and chatted for a while.

The slight drizzle did not dampen the spirits of thousands of BN and PAS supporters from neighbouring states and other districts in Terengganu who had arrived at the Rakan Muda Complex as early as 6am. - July 12, 2013.




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