Five vie for Padang Serai seat

The contenders: (From left) Mohamad Sofee, Sivarraajh, Azman, Hamzah and Sreanandha at the nomination centre at Kulim Hi Tech Sports Complex in Kedah. — ZHAFARAN NASIB/The Star

ALOR SETAR: The Padang Serai parliamentary seat is seeing one less contender in the initial six-way tussle as Parti Warisan has pulled out of the race.

Its secretary-general Datuk Loretto Padua said the Election Commission was informed about the party’s decision yesterday.

However, the Warisan candidate Mohd Bakri Hisham’s name would still appear on the ballot paper.

“The party has decided not to contest in Padang Serai,” he said in a statement.

Nomination for Padang Serai was held yesterday after election was deferred following the death of Pakatan Harapan candidate M.

Karupaiya two days before polling day on Nov 19.

Filling the shoes of the late Karupaiya, who was also the incumbent for Padang Serai, is lawyer Dr Mohamad Sofee Razak.

Barisan Nasional’s Datuk Sivarraajh Chandran, Datuk Azman Nasrudin (Perikatan Nasional), Hamzah Abdul Rahman (Pejuang) and Independent candidate Sreanandha Rao are also contesting for the seat.

Mohamad Sofee, 47, is a lawyer by profession and had contested in Kuala Ketil state seat during GE14.

The Kedah PKR secretary is also a journal and magazine writer.

He holds a masters degree from Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) in communication and law as well as a PhD in Islamic Finance and Banking from Universiti Islam Antarabangsa Sultan Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah (UniSHAMS).

Earlier in the morning, there was talk that Mohamad Sofee would be replaced by another PKR candidate.

When met outside the nomination centre, he explained there were some from the PKR grassroots who might not have been satisfied with the choice of candidate.

“Some expressed their opinion but the party proceeded with their decision.

I will meet and clear it with them.

To me this is a huge responsibility to contest here and win.

“I will reach out and meet everyone as we have held this seat since 2008 and I hope to retain it,” he said.

To a question, Mohamad Sofee said the five contenders might have an advantage since they had campaigned for a longer period than him.

“But their campaigning was halted.

With everyone having a new number (on the ballot paper), they have to make new posters if they have printed it with the previous number,” he said.

Earlier the Perikatan and Barisan supporters turned up in full support with both congregation braving the morning heat.

Campaigning for the six-way tussle will now take place over the next 14 days.

The Election Commission has set polling day here on Dec 7, with early voting on Dec 3.

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