KUCHING: A total of 349 candidates are vying for the 82 state seats in the upcoming Sarawak state election, as campaigning kicks off on Monday (Dec 6), says the Election Commission.
Its chairman Datuk Abdul Ghani Salleh said the candidates comprised 82 from Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS), 73 from Parti Bumi Kenyalang (PBK), Parti Sarawak Baru (70), PKR (28), DAP (26), Parti Aspirasi Rakyat Sarawak (15), Parti Bansa Dayak Baru (11), Amanah (eight), Parti Sedar Rakyat (five) and PAS (one).
Throughout the nomination period that began from 9am till 10am on Monday, Abdul Ghani said two nomination papers were rejected, with one at Jemoreng, and another at Senadin.
At Jemoreng, the nomination paper for a candidate was rejected because the Independent candidate pulled out at the last minute while at Senadin, another Independent candidate wasn’t a registered voter, said Abdul Ghani.
Meanwhile, Abdul Ghani said there were straight fights in four state seats, three-cornered fights in 13 seats, four-cornered fights in 33 seats, five-cornered fights in 24 seats, six-cornered fights in seven seats and one eight-cornered fight.
Abdul Ghani also said the 349 candidates were made up of 304 men and 45 women.
The oldest candidate is 79-year-old Datuk Seri Wong Soon Koh contesting Bawang Assan.
The youngest candidates are 24-year-olds Cherishe Ng contesting Batu Lintang and Olivia Lim at Nangka.
“The official campaigning period begins as the nomination period ends. Campaigns will take place until 11.59pm on Dec 17.”
Abdul Ghani also advised Sarawakians and political parties to follow standard operating procedures (SOP) to curb the spread of Covid-19.
Early voting for the Sarawak state election will be on Dec 14 and polling on Dec 18.