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By Karen Bong
MIRI, Nov 24: The full list of Gabungan Parti Sarawak’s (GPS) confirmed candidates for the coming 12th Sarawak Election may only be revealed two days before nomination day on Nov 6.
Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg said this when asked by reporters if the GPS candidate list has been finalised and ready to be released as the Election Commission (EC) has set Dec 18 for polling day and Dec 6 for nomination.
“We are ready as we (have) estimated that polling day would be somewhere before Christmas.
“As for GPS, we only need to do some fine tuning (on the candidate list).
“We will probably announce the full and final candidate list two days before nomination,” he said after officiating the unveiling of the new Sri Mawar School Complex at Naim South Lake Club House in Permyjaya here today.
When further prompted if he would make any surprise announcements, perhaps on the candidates for seats under Miri at tonight’s Leaders with the People gathering, he simply replied: “What (is there) to announce? We will see later.”
Minister for Local Government and Housing Dato Sri Sim Kui Hian, Assistant Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Datuk Sebastian Ting and Sri Mawar School founder Datuk Hamed Sepawi were among those present at the event.
The GPS coalition comprises Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB), Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP), Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) and Progressive Democratic Party (PDP).
The Sarawak State Legislative Assembly (DUN) has 82 seats. The coalition will need 42 seats for a majority.
After a Supreme Council Meeting on Nov 19, PBB has confirmed that the party would be contesting in 47 seats and this meant it is likely seeking the Mambong and Pakan seats.
If PPB has decided to claim Mambong constituency which is one of SUPP’s 20 traditional seats, the oldest party in Sarawak is expected to contest in 19 seats.
PRS is expected to contest in 11 seats unchanged.
PDP, which has eight traditional seats, is expected to contest in five seats as the PBB has previously absorbed Batu Danau (incumbent Paulus Palu Gumbang), Bekenu (Datuk Rosey Yunus) and Pakan (Tan Sri William Mawan Ikom).
The party will probably field candidates to wrest back two traditional seats of Ba Kelalan held by incumbent Baru Bian and Krian (by Datuk Ali Biju).
Although some issues may arise over overlapping seat claims, Abang Johari had yesterday given assurance that it was a “non-issue” which will be resolved in due time. — DayakDaily