KUCHING: The State Barisan Nasional (BN) is preparing for the Balingian by-election made vacant following the resignation of its assemblyman Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud who is now the Yang di-Pertua Negeri.
Chief Minister Tan Sri Datuk Amar Adenan Satem told a media conference here yesterday that he would soon call senior members of Party Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) to decide on BN’s candidate.
“We have not finalised the candidate but we will soon decide on the matter.”
“Several names have been given to me and very soon I will call senior party members to discuss the issue.
“We are prepared for it (by-election) now. We will name the candidate a few days before the nomination to give him time to prepare and in consultation with senior members of the party and preferably the candidate is a local,” he said.
Talks have it that Dato Sri Mahmud Abu Bekir Taib and former federal minister Dato Sri Mohamad Effendi Norwawi are among earlier front-runners tipped to contest.
A few other names have also been mentioned as potential candidates. They include Mukah-born Adrian Alphonsus Dolhat who is an engineer, Perlis Mufti Datuk Dr Juanda Jaya, former permanent secretary to the Tourism Ministry Akit Sebli, chief executive officer of Land Custody and Development Authority (LCDA) Datu Dr Sulaiman Husaini, government officer Dr Anthony Valentine Laiseh and businessman Paul Druce.
On the chances for BN to retain the seat, Adenan said based on past election records he was confident BN would be able to win the seat.
On the 12 days’ campaigning period allocated by the Election Commission (EC), Adenan said as far as BN was concerned it should be enough.
EC has set March 17 for nomination and polling on March 29.
According to Adenan, the election director had yet to be confirmed but the normal practice in the past was that the incumbent MP would automatically be put in-charge and this practice was likely to stay. - theborneopost