ALOR SETAR: The battle for the Padang Serai parliamentary seat has been left with four candidates just as early voting kicks off today.
With Barisan Nasional candidate Datuk C. Sivarraajh pulling out from the race yesterday, those still in the running are Pakatan Harapan’s Dr Mohamad Sofee Razak, Perikatan Nasional’s Datuk Azman Nasrudin, Pejuang’s Hamzah Abdul Rahman and Independent candidate Sreanandha Rao.
However, the fight should be between Pakatan and Perikatan as both coalitions have seen their fair share of support in other constituencies.
Sivarraajh halted his campaigning on Thursday.
Mohamad Sofee, 47, is filling the shoes of late incumbent MP M. Karupaiya in the Pakatan seat.
It was understood that Sivarraajh withdrew his challenge after Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, who is Pakatan chairman, and his Barisan Nasional counterpart Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi reached an agreement on this issue.
Earlier, Warisan candidate Mohd Bakhri Hashim also pulled out from the race.
Warisan, like Barisan, is part of the Anwar-helmed Federal Government.
The Padang Serai election was deferred to Dec 7 following the death of Pakatan incumbent Karupaiya on Nov 16.
The 69-year-old former soldier won the seat in 2018 with a majority of 8,813 votes against MCA’s Datuk Dr Leong Yong Kong and PAS’ Muhammad Sobri Osman.
Apart from Padang Serai, there will also be an election for the Tioman state seat in Pahang on Dec 7 after Perikatan candidate Md Yunus Ramli, 61, died just hours before the general election.
Pakatan has agreed to pull out of this race in favour of Barisan candidate Datuk Seri Mohd Johari Hussain, who will take on Perikatan’s Nor Idayu Hashim and others.
The Padang Serai constituency in Kedah that spans 343km has 133,870 voters with a breakdown of 65,586 men and 68,284 female voters.
The majority of the voters fall under the age group of 21 to 30 with 29.1%, followed by those between the ages of 31 to 40 at 19.7%.
There are 62.6% Malay voters at 83,841, followed by 19.2% Indian voters (25,687), 17.6% Chinese (23,600) and 0.6% others at 742.