Thursday, April 7, 2011

Battle is on for all seats as 213 join the fray in Sarawak

Battle is on for all seats as 213 join the fray in Sarawak

KUCHING: The 10th Sarawak state election is set to be a keenly-contested one with fights in every one of the 71 constituencies. A total of 213 candidates are in the fray and many seats will see multi-cornered fights – with two seats seeing six contestants.

The two seats are in Balai Ringin and Belaga. In Ngemah and Jepak, there will be five-cornered fights.

The Election Commission said there were 27 straight fights, 23 three-cornered fights and 17 four-cornered fights.

When nominations concluded, Barisan Nasional found out for the first time in 24 years that it did not win any seat unopposed.

In the last election in 2006, Barisan won two seats uncontested.

Only in 1987, when there were 48 seats, was there a contest for every seat with the now-defunct Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak (PBDS) challenged PBB, SUPP and SNAP in the fray.

Facing a three-cornered fight for the Balingian seat is Chief Minister and PBB president Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud, who is up against his cousin Datuk Salleh Jafaruddin and PKR’s Suriati Abdullah.

In Miri, Deputy Chief Minister and SUPP president Tan Sri Dr George Chan is facing DAP’s Ling Sie Kiong in a straight fight for the Piasau seat.

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