GEORGE TOWN: Lawyer Mohd Norsafri Said (pic) emerged as the leading name to be the Barisan Nasional candidate in the Permatang Pauh by-election.
Barisan is expected to name the 36-year-old from Umno to contest the seat this afternoon.
Barisan’s election director for Permatang Pauh Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi will make the announcement in the presence of Umno deputy president and Barisan deputy chairman Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and MCA deputy president Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong.
Mohd Norsafri, who is a graduate of the International Islamic University, is related to Permatang Pauh Umno division chief Datuk Mohd Zaidi Said.
It was reported that Ahmad Zaidi had said two names, both locals and new faces, had been submitted to the party leadership for consideration.
Among those mentioned were Penang Biro Tatanegara director and Permatang Pauh Umno information chief Hasan Mohammad, and Dr Mazlan Ismail who had contested against Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim in 2013.
Even though Dr Mazlan successfully reduced Anwar’s majority by 5,000 votes then, it is learnt that his chances to be picked are slim as he had failed to submit his election expenses report to the Election Commission within the one-month limit after the last general election.
The Permatang Pauh seat fell vacant after PKR adviser Anwar, who is serving a five-year jail sentence for sodomy, lost his eligibility as an MP when the Pardons Board rejected his appeal against his conviction.
Meanwhile, Pakatan Rakyat is expected to announce Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail as its candidate tomorrow .
Nomination day falls on Saturday while the polling day of the Permatang Pauh by-election is on May 7.
Early voting is on May 3.