Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Barisan candidate for Batang Ai known by Saturday

The Barisan Nasional candidate for the Batang Ai by-election is expected to be unveiled on Saturday.

Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud told reporters on Wednesday that he had not yet decided on the candidate for the constituency.

However, he said the state Barisan would meet this Saturday to discuss who would represent the coalition in the coming by-election.

Asked whether he would announce the candidate after the meeting, he replied: “Yes.”

The Batang Ai seat fell vacant when its assemblyman Datuk Dublin Unting Ingkot, who was also Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) vice president and state assistant minister of sports and agriculture, died on Feb 24.

PRS president Datuk Dr James Masing had last week submitted one name to the Barisan leadership for consideration.

The name was widely speculated to be that of senior agriculture officer Malcolm Mossen Lamoh.

Nomination for the by-election is on March 29 and polling on April 7.

In the 2006 state election, Unting defeated Nicholas Bawin Anggat, who stood on a Sarawak National Party (SNAP) ticket, by 806 votes in a straight fight.

Bawin, who is now Sarawak PKR deputy liaison committee chairman, is one of two front-runners for the Opposition candidacy. The other is former Lubok Antu MP Jawah Gerang.



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