KOTA KINABALU: Political intrigue continues at Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal’s residence at Yayasan Sabah, as the race to form the next state government continues.
Scores of cars were seen parked outside Yayasan Sabah along Jalan Tenejai, and reporters as well as party supporters had gathered at Shafie’s residences, fuelling speculation that Warisan Plus still hasn’t given up despite being defeated by Gabungan Rakyat Sabah in the 16th Sabah state election.
Security personnel were seen mingling at the vicinity of the residences and a group of caterers from the Sutera Harbour Resort were seen preparing food.
According to sources, a number of assemblymen had gathered inside Shafie’s residence, but the amount of assemblymen could not be ascertained as of press time.
Following the defeat of Warisan Plus in the 16th state election last Saturday (Sept 26), Shafie has kept out of the media spotlight.
Sources in the chief minister’s office have also indicated that they were told to vacate their office to make way for the new administration.
However, other party sources have told The Star that Shafie is still planning to form a minority state government, as Parti Warisan Sabah is the single largest party with the most number of seats, having clinched 29 state seats.
Under the state constitution, the “first choice” for chief ministership will be given to the party with the most number of seats.
Together with DAP (six), PKR (two) and Upko (One), the Warisan Plus coalition has a total of 32 seats against the 38 held by the informal coalition of GRS, as the coalition isn’t a registered political entity with the Registrar of Societies (RoS).
Legal observers have said that Perikatan Nasional was “second” with 17 seats (Bersatu 11 and Sabah STAR six), followed by Sabah Barisan Nasional (14) and Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) seven
Under Article 6(3) of the state constitution, the Yang di-Pertua Negri shall appoint as chief minister a member of the legislative assembly, who in his judgement is likely to command the majority of members in the assembly.
At around 11.30am, PBS secretary-general Datuk Jahid Jahid arrived at the Istana Negeri to hand over what he says are 41 statutory declarations in support of the candidate for chief minister.
Two independent assemblymen who won are believed to have pledged allegiance to GRS, which has bumped up its 38 assemblymen to 41.
Earlier on Monday (Sept 28), GRS had nominated Sabah Bersatu chief Datuk Hajiji Mohd Noor as its candidates for chief minister and the swearing-in ceremony is scheduled for Tuesday (Sept 29).
However, it is learned that GRS leaders are insisting for the swearing-in ceremony to be done on Monday.
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