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Wednesday February 27, 2008
By MUGUNTAN VANAR, RUBEN SARIO and PHILIP GOLINGAI
KOTA KINABALU: Barisan Nasional increased its tally of uncontested seats to 11 when a PKR candidate in Sabah pulled out from the Gum Gum state seat.
The surprise withdrawal by Mohaspa Mohd Hassan gave Umno incumbent Datuk Zakaria Mohd Edris victory. It came less than three hours after PKR leaders confidently declared that none of their 77 candidates dropped out of the race.
This walkover was the first state seat for Sabah which delivered two parliamentary seats on nomination day. The parliamentary seats were Kalabakan and Pensiangan.
Barisan now has eight parliamentary and three state seats in the bag against one state seat in the hands of PAS.
Gum Gum elections officer Jeffery Aman said that he received the withdrawal notice from the candidate at 6pm. “We declare Zakaria the winner as there are no other candidates,” he added.
Sabah Elections Commission Md Idrus Ismail said that the latest withdrawal was the third in Sabah as of 7pm Wednesday and the 72-hour cooling off period for withdrawals ends at midnight on Wednesday.
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