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Published: Monday July 6, 2009 MYT 8:17:00 AM
Updated: Monday July 6, 2009 MYT 11:20:14 AM

Manek Urai polls: It's one-on-one (Update 4)

KUALA KRAI: The Election Commission has confirmed that the Manek Urai by-election on July 14 will be a straight fight between Barisan Nasional and PAS.

Returning officer Adnan Hussein said that there was only one objection raised, but it was set aside during the 60min objection period.

Only two candidates had filed their papers when nominations closed at 10am Monday.

Barisan Nasional candidate Tuan Aziz Tuan Mat, the 39-year-old Kuala Krai Umno Youth chief, will be going up against Mohd Fauzi Abdullah, the 50-year old PAS treasurer for Kuala Krai and a fish wholesaler by trade.

Supporters from both sides started gathering early Monday morning near the nomination centre at the SMK Sultan Yahya Petra school.

About 200 members of the Field Reserve Unit (FRU) were there to keep the peace, putting up a barbed fence perimeter to separate the two groups of supporters.

Umno deputy president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and Tuan Aziz arrived at the Barisan gathering centre about 400m from the nomination centre at 7:30am.

Nearly an hour later, thousands of PAS supporters armed with banners and buntings accompanied Mohd Fauzi, party president Datuk Seri Hadi Awang and spiritual adviser Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat at the road leading to the nomination centre.

Shouting “Allahu Akbar” (God is great), the supporters came to a full stop at the barbed wire fence manned by FRU personnel.

At 9am, after the returning officer Adnan Hussein summoned the two candidates into the nomination centre, the situation outside began to heat up as supporters from both sides chanted and shouted at each other.

None, however, made any attempt to breach the 100m buffer zone between them.

Later, Hadi Awang and Nik Aziz held a press conference. When asked why PAS deputy president Nasharuddin Mat Isa -- who was a key person behind the now-scuttled “unity talks” with Umno -- was not present, Hadi countered by asking why Umno president Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak was not around.

Najib, also the Prime Minister, is at the PM’s Department monthly gathering in Putrajaya this morning.

Barisan election director Datuk Mustapa Mohamad went to the PAS side after nominations closed, where he shook hands with Hadi Awang and Nik Aziz.

The by-election is being held following the death of the state assemblyman, Ismail Yaacob of PAS, on May 22.

In the 2008 general election, Ismail, a five-term assemblyman, defeated Barisan candidate Zulkifli Omar with a 1,352 majority votes.

The constituency has 12,293 voters.

It is the seventh by-election being held since the March 8 general election last year.

Earlier reports

10am Returning officer declares nominations closed and the objection period begins. It’s a straight fight as only the Barisan and PAS candidates have filed nomination papers.

9:45am Straight fight expected between Barisan and PAS; up till now, no other candidate has made an entry. Nominations close at 10am.

9:20am PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang and spiritual adviser Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat hold a press conference. When asked why PAS deputy president Nasharuddin Mat Isa -- who was a key person behind the now-scuttled “unity talks” with Umno -- was not present, Hadi countered by asking why Umno president Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak was not around.

Najib, also the Prime Minister, is at the PM’s Department monthly gathering in Putrajaya this morning.

9:24am PAS candidate Mohd Fauzi Abdullah stands outside nomination centre as Barisan candidate Tuan Aziz Tuan Mat files his papers.

The situation outside beings to heat up as supporters from both sides chant and shout at each other.

9am Both candidates enter the nomination centre to submit their papers after being summoned by returning officer Adnan Hussein.

8:45am About 2,000 supporters accompany Barisan Nasional candidate Tuan Aziz Tuan Mat, Umno deputy president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and other leaders to the nomination centre.

The scene is getting more boisterous as both sets of supporters, separated by a 100m buffer zone, shout at each other.

The two candidates enter the nomination centre.

8:35am Thousands of PAS supporters armed with banners and buntings accompany PAS candidate Mohd Fauzi Abdullah, party president Datuk Seri Hadi Awang and spiritual adviser Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat at the road leading to the nomination centre.

The atmosphere came alive with shouts of “Allahu Akbar” (God is great). The supporters comes to a full stop at the barbed wire fence manned by FRU personnel.

7:30am Umno deputy president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and the Barisan Nasional candidate Tuan Aziz Tuan Mat arrived at the Barisan gathering centre about 400m from the nomination centre at 7:30am.

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