Permatang Pauh: By-election Aug 26

By Chan Kok Leong (Malaysiakini)
The Permatang Pauh by-election is slated for Aug 26 (Tuesday) – with nomination day on Aug 16 (Saturday) – announced the Election Commission this morning.
The EC also said it would use the latest electoral roll for the by-election, which will see 57,969 registered voters being eligible to vote as of July 31. There are also 490 postal voters.
The polling day is just after the end of the mid-year school holidays which begins on Aug 15 and ends on Aug 23. The campaigning period will be for a total of 10 days.
The EC met this morning to decide the dates and according to a statement, the election writ will be issued tomorrow. The notice will be out on Friday.
The by-election will be headed by returning officer Roslan Yahaya while his assistants are Zainol Abidin Noh, Kamarul Haizal Koderat and Azizal Ahmad.
In the statement, EC reminded political parties, candidates, party workers and other individuals to abide by the election rules and regulations.
“All parties must remember that there are still several election petitions pending in court and as such, candidates are reminded not to raise issues regarding those cases during their campaigns.”
The by-election is being called following the stepping down of PKR president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail last week, to allow her husband Anwar Ibrahim to contest.
Overwhelming favourite
The by-election allows Anwar to go back to the constituency where he began his political career 26 years ago. He is the overwhelming favourite to win the seat.
Incarcerated in Sungai Buloh prison for five years and suspended from running for elections for another five, Anwar is poised to reprise his role as the Permatang Pauh parliamentarian.
In 1982, Anwar began his career in the little known Penang seat after beating PAS’ Zabidi Ali and DAP’s Tan Ah Huat. Despite being a newcomer, Anwar won comfortably with a 14,352-vote margin.
Among his PAS victims are vice-president Muhamad Sabu, information chief Mahfuz Omar and Mazani Abdullah.
During his imprisonment and suspension, his wife Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail defended the seat in 1999, 2004 and 2008.
The closest Barisan Nasional ever came to wresting the seat from the Anwar family was in 2004 when Wan Azizah managed to hold on to it by a whisker of 590 votes against Umno’s Pirdaus Ismail.
However, with her husband beside her and the swing in voters’ sentiments, Wan Azizah defended her seat with a commanding 13,398-vote margin in the March 8 polls.
Although, BN deputy chairman Najib Abdul Razak had said that the coalition will defend the seat, BN has yet to decide on who they will field against the former deputy prime minister in Permatang Pauh.