Pahang CM asks other parties not to contest Chini by-election after PKR pulled out

R. Loheswar
Pahang Chief Minister Datuk Seri Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail said the risk of infection and spread of the virus is too high and as such it would be best to avoid any elections until the spread of the virus is in check. — Bernama pic

KUALA LUMPUR, June 6 — Pahang Chief Minister Datuk Seri Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail has asked other political parties not to contest the Chini by-election following PKR’s decision not to fight for the vacant seat.

He said the incumbent Datuk Seri Abu Bakar Harun whose passing precipitated the by-election had won by a big majority due to the cooperation of Umno and PAS and to challenge the seat now under difficult conditions due to Covid-19 would be inadvisable.

In the last general election, Umno polled 10,027 votes in Chini, while PAS received 5,405 votes. PKR came in last with 1,065 votes.

Umno and PAS combined made up 93.5 per cent of the votes there and the two former rival parties formed an alliance after the last general election under the banner of “Muafakat Nasional”.

“This is not us being arrogant but just the reality of the times.

“In 2018 Datuk Bakar won with a huge 4,622 majority in a three-way battle. So for the safety of the people and to avoid campaigning, I hope other parties will not contest this by-election,” Wan Rosdy posted on his Facebook page.

He also added that the government will save RM4.3 million for this election and reiterated former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s sentiments that now is not the time for having elections in the country.

He said the risk of infection and spread of the virus is too high and as such it would be best to avoid any elections until the spread of the virus is in check.

Pakatan Harapan today announced that it will not be contesting in the upcoming Chini by-election in Pahang, citing the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic as their main deterrent.

A statement announcing their decision this morning by PKR secretary-general Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail explained that among the reasons that drove them to abandon the by-election is their worry for voters’ safety and wellbeing despite new SOPs set to be introduced.

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