Penang polls: Barisan and Pakatan won't contest against each other


GEORGE TOWN: Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Harapan have agreed not to contest against each other in the upcoming Penang state election.

Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said the coalitions have decided to work together to ensure a big win for the unity government partners.

"We have heard each other's input and will take it back to our respective coalitions to discuss before ... the next round of discussions.

"It will be an ongoing process until there is nothing else to iron out," he told a press conference at his office in Komtar on Tuesday (May 2).

ALSO READ: Accept political reality, stop harping about Penang CM ethnicity, Chow tells Perikatan

Chow, the state Pakatan chairman, said he was given the mandate by both Barisan and Pakatan to speak about the meeting between the two on Monday (May 1) evening.

Chow said Pakatan emphasised that incumbents would contest in their respective seats unless circumstances dictated otherwise.

"Both of us (Pakatan and Barisan) have agreed to this and we will continue discussions after what (we) agreed upon is taken back to our respective leaderships.

"It has been a success so far but does not determine the allocation of seats.

"At this stage it is just Umno (in the discussions) although we did stress that all component parties should be involved.

"For now we are focused on the Malay-majority seats in the state," he said.

Chow said Umno did express an interest in contesting in the 15 Malay-majority seats.

"At this stage we are not ready to announce anything yet.

"It is an ongoing process with the deadline being before the state election," he said.

Chow said the main objective was for Barisan and Pakatan not to compete in seats.

ALSO READ: Penang assembly votes to vacate four seats, former reps told to leave chamber

As for the four seats vacated in March, previously under Perikatan Nasional, Chow said Pakatan considered itself the incumbent in those constituencies as it won there in 2018.

In the previous state election held together with GE14, DAP captured 19 seats followed by PKR with 14, while Amanah and Bersatu – then a part of the coalition – won two each.

Umno also won two seats and PAS, one.

Bersatu then left Pakatan to form Perikatan Nasional following the Sheraton Move in February 2020, and two PKR assemblymen crossed over as well.

A total of 40 seats will be contested in the coming election, expected to be in July.

Penang, Kedah, Selangor, Negri Sembilan, Kelantan and Terengganu will have to hold elections this year as the five-year term of their respective legislative assemblies is expiring.

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