KOTA BELUD: Two former Umno leaders Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak and Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia are looking to make a political comeback via different political vehicles.
Salleh, a former chief minister and federal minister, is making his comeback bid through Barisan Nasional, will be in a three-cornered fight for the Usukan state seat, while Pandikar, the former Dewan Rakyat speaker, is contesting the new Pintasan seat through Usno.
Salleh will be up against Warisan’s Abdul Bakhrin Mohd Yusof and Parti Cinta Sabah’s Datuk Mohd Nazaruddin Datu Tigabelas for the seat in Sabah’s Kota Belud district.
Picked by Umno to contest the seat, he is returning to his family’s decades-old stronghold which he lost in GE14 to Warisan for the Kota Belud parliamentary seat.
Salleh had previously held the Usukan seat and was Sabah chief minister 1995-96. In 2013, he contested the Kota Belud parliament seat and was a federal minister in Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Tun Razak's cabinet till 2018.
Having been partyless after leaving Umno in 2018, he is now seen as a key factor in balancing Sabah Umno following the move to drop former chief minister Tan Sri Musa Aman as a candidate.
Pandikar, a veteran Sabah politician, is in a six-cornered fight where his main contender is Mohd Saffian Saludin from Warisan.
In the neighbouring Kadamaian seat, incumbent assemblyman and state minister Datuk Ewon Benedick from Upko (Warisan Plus) is in a six-cornered fight against Duanis Mogirong (Barisan), Raiting Mohd Farhan (Independent), Demis Rumanti (PBS), Leduning Lengik Ernest (LDP) and Dr Beting Giling @ Josh (PCS).
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