KOTA KINABALU: Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) claimed victory after unofficially winning 37 seats, defeating Warisan Plus in the Sabah snap polls.
“Yes, we are claiming victory as of now we have won 37 seats,” said Sabah Perikatan Nasional chairman Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor when he was contacted at 9.10pm.
GRS comprises Barisan Nasional, Perikatan and Parti Bersatu Sabah.
Hajiji, who is also Bersatu chairman, retained his Sulaman seat.
Meanwhile, two pro-GRS independents have also won their seats – Datuk Masiung Banah retained his Kuamut seat while Datuk Rubin Balang, who was five-term Kemabong assemblyman from 1994 to 2018, won the seat again.
Meanwhile, Warisan Plus, which consists of Parti Warisan Sabah, Pakatan Harapan and Upko, had disputed GRS’ claims.
Warisan Plus said the seats which GRS claimed it had won included those where vote-tallying had yet to be completed.
These seats included Darau, Tulid and Karambunai, among others.
“The ballot boxes are just arriving,” said a Warisan Plus spokesman at 9pm.
However, the atmosphere at Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal’s residence at the Yayasan Sabah house was sombre when the unofficial results showed that GRS had won the state election.
Shafie was supposed to address the media at 9pm yesterday but did not emerge by the time GRS started celebrating its victory.
At around 9.45pm, several leaders were seen entering the premises, including Sabah PKR chief Datuk Christina Liew who stood at Api-Api and DAP Kapayan candidate Jannie Lasimbang. Both women had won their seats.
Parti Warisan Sabah supreme council member Datuk Mohamaddin Ketapi retained the Segama seat.
Sabah DAP chairman Datuk Frankie Poon (Warisan Plus) won the Tanjong Papat seat.
So far, the big name to fall in the state polls is Upko president and former deputy chief minister Datuk Wilfred Madius Tangau, who lost against Kiulu incumbent Datuk Joniston Bangkuai of PBS.
The oldest candidate in the state election, Taraji Jamdi from PPRS, lost the Bugaya seat
Small parties such as Parti Cinta Sabah led by former foreign minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman and Liberal Democratic Party helmed by former Sabah chief minister Tan Sri Chong Kah Kiat, as of press time, did not win any seat.
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