(From left): Huan, Mohamed Nabi Bux, Ramkarpal and Abu Backer Sidek pose after nominations.
GEORGE TOWN: It will be a four-cornered fight for the Bukit Gelugor by-election to be held on May 25.
When nominations closed Monday morning, four candidates had submitted their papers at the nomination centre in Dewan Sri Pinang, while a fifth was rejected.
Those contesting are DAP's Ramkarpal Singh, Parti Cinta Malaysia vice-president Datuk Huan Cheng Guan, retiree Mohamed Nabi Bux Mohd Nabi Abd Sathar and lawyer Abu Backer Sidek Mohamad Zan, both Independents.
The newly-formed Penang Front Party failed in its nomination bid to contest in the by-election.
The party's supposed candidate Lim Chee Khoon, 53, was 15 minutes late to hand in his form at the nomination centre.
He also did not submit the deposit, which caused his nomination papers to be rejected.
The parliamentary seat fell vacant following the death of incumbent Karpal Singh in a car accident on April 17.
Earlier, PKR president Datuk Seri Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and deputy president Azmin Ali were among the Pakatan Rakyat supporters gathered at Speaker's Square near the seafront promenade at the Esplanade here.
Many supporters were seen waving party flags, while there was a strong police presence at Dewan Sri Pinang and the surrounding areas.
There was also an air surveillance outside the building.
Election Commission chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof visited the nomination centre to ensure everything was in order before nominations opened at 9am.
A carnival-like air prevailed at Esplanade as several enterprising traders put up stalls to sell an array of party merchandise at the site. Among the items on sale were sunglasses, Pakatan Rakyat scarves, T-shirts and vests.
Ramkarpal arrived at the Esplanade around 8.30am in his late father's red jeep.
He was seen holding a placard that read: "I am Karpal Singh."
Accompanying him were his family members, Pakatan Rakyat leaders and supporters as they prepared to march to Dewan Sri Pinang.
Mohanmed Nabi Bux, who claims to be a PAS member, arrived at Dewan Sri Pinang around 8.45am with supporters, who waved banners that read "Undilah saya demi Islam di Pulau Pinang" and "Hudud in Penang 2020".
Earlier, Huan prayed at the Goddess of Mercy temple in Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling before heading to the nomination centre.
There are 82,431 registered voters in the Bukit Gelugor parliamentary constituency, 74.33% of them are Chinese (61,267), followed by 14.45% Malay (11,913), 10.73% Indian (8,848) and 0.5% others (403).
The turnout for the last general election was 86%, with Karpal Singh winning the seat with a thumping majority of 41,778 votes against Barisan Nasional candidate Teh Beng Yeam.
Ramkarpal, the third son of Karpal, is the hot favourite to retain the seat held by his father since 2004.
The MCA, which traditionally contests in the election, has opted out this time.
The Bukit Gelugor parliamentary seat was created following a re-delineation exercise in 2004.
Bukit Gelugor by-election: Penang Front Party fails to join the fray