Berikut adalah suasana di sekitar Kampung Bandarsah tempat permulaan perarakan Datuk Amar Abang Haji Johari Tun Openg ke Pusat Penamaan Calon di Sekolah Kerajaan Datuk Merpati Jepang.
Sarawak enters campaign mode
KUCHING: Barisan Nasional named its Ba' Kelalan candidate yesterday as it eases into campaigning which will start in earnest at the end of today's nomination process. The BN will launch its campaign by unveiling its manifesto, expected to focus on economic growth, development and unity.
Two staff members of Dewan Suarah Sibu carry chairs to be used for the nomination process for the Bawang Assan state constituency in Sibu. Nominations for 71 state seats in Sarawak take place today, with polling set for April 16, after a 10-day campaign period. — NST picture by Mohd Kamil Rahim
On the other side of the political divide, the promised opposition onslaught suffered further setbacks with the sole Parti Keadilan Rakyat incumbent assemblyman Dominique Ng Kim Ho quitting the party to contest as an independent.
More evidence of a disjointed opposition campaign came to light yesterday when Pas went ahead to announce five candidates, less than 24 hours before the nomination process.
This is the first time that Pas, which does not enjoy a strong presence in Sarawak, is contesting five seats as compared with only one in 2006.
An assortment of independent candidates could surface today with the Election Commission having sold 883 nomination forms as of yesterday.
There will be a minimum three-cornered fight in at least 25 constituencies involving BN, PKR and Sarawak National Party (SNAP) as the two opposition parties had failed to reach an understanding on seat allocation.
As candidates brace themselves for the tough physical challenge when campaigning in interior areas, BN deputy chairman Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin will head for Mukah today.
Muhyiddin is lending support to Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud who will file his papers at Dewan Suarah Mesra Mukah to defend the Balingian seat.
Among the other seats expected to see keen contests are Ba' Kelalan -- where PKR state head Baru Bian is standing against BN's Willie Liaw; Piasau, where Sarawak United Peoples' Party president Tan Sri Dr George Chan Hong Nam had said he would defend the seat "until I die" and Layar where another BN stalwart Tan Sri Alfred Jabu Numpang is defending his seat.
Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said police had identified six seats where security measures would be increased.