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By Karen Bong
KUCHING, Dec 6: The N13 Batu Kitang seat is set to see a four-way tussle with incumbent Lo Khere Chiang of Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) under Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) once again facing off against his Democratic Action Party (DAP) rival Abdul Aziz Isa Marindo in the 12th Sarawak Election.
This time, they will be joined by Liu Thian Leong of Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) and Wong Tun Teck of Parti Bumi Kenyalang (PBK).
Election Commission (EC) returning officer Elizabeth Loh who made the announcement at Padawan Municipal Council (MPP) here today, said all nomination papers were accepted.
The nomination process went smoothly and calmly under strict standard operating procedures (SOPs) in place to curb the spread of Covid-19.
Police have placed the MPP Complex, which is also the nomination centre for Batu Kawah constituency, under tight control.
Checks were being carried out at the gated entrance to the building with only relevant contesting parties, media practitioners and those possessing EC passes allowed to enter.
Candidates, their proposers and seconders were seen arriving at the nomination centre as early as 7.50am, minus their supporters as gatherings and processions are not allowed, unlike previous elections.
During the 11th Sarawak Election in 2016, Lo who was in a five-cornered battle garnered 6,466 votes to defeat Abdul Aziz’s 4,626 votes with a 1,840 majority.
The three other candidates—Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR)’s Voon Shiak Ni (883) and two independents Sulaiman Kadir (61) and Othman Bojeng (54)—lagged far behind.
The 12th Sarawak Election will be Abdul Aziz’s second attempt to wrest the seat from Lo who is currently the MPP chairman.
Abdul Aziz is a special assistant to Sarawak DAP chairman Chong Chieng Jen and DAP Batu Kitang chairman.
The EC has set Dec 18 for polling and early voting on Dec 14. The campaign period will stretch for 12 days, from today (Dec 6) to Dec 17.
The Batu Kitang constituency comprises the polling districts of Arang, Pasar Maong, Haji Baki, Kitang and Lidah Tanah. — DayakDaily