CHUKAI: Perikatan Nasional has maintained its electoral dominance in Terengganu by retaining the Kemaman parliamentary seat.
The Election Commission returning officer announced that PAS' Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Samsuri Mokhtar obtained a total of 64,998 votes while Barisan Nasional's Tan Sri Raja Mohamed Affandi Raja Mohamed Noor polled 22,778 votes.
The Terengganu Mentri Besar was named the winner with an increased majority of 37,220 votes
Ahmad Samsuri's majority surpassed his predecessor's majority of 27,179 votes in the 15th General Election (GE15).
Meanwhile, PAS supporters were already in a celebratory mood at press time as their unofficial tally had Ahmad Samsuri winning with a majority of more than 36,000 votes.
Ahmad Samsuri's victory had been anticipated but the results far exceeded expectations as the PAS leadership had claimed that a 30,000-vote majority was achievable.
The results do not reflect well on the Barisan-Pakatan Harapan partnership as their supposed combined strength could not make a difference.
Even if a Barisan victory was a long shot, it had been hoped that the partnership would at least slash PAS' majority.
Instead, the unity government partners had ceded more ground to PAS.
The Kemaman by-election was called after the Terengganu Election Court ruled on Sept 26 that Che Alias Hamid's victory in GE15 was nullified due to elements of corruption during the campaign period.
In GE15, Che Alias won the seat under a PAS ticket with a majority of 27,179 votes in a four-way fight. His closest competitor, Barisan's Datuk Seri Ahmad Said obtained 38,535 votes.
Ahmad Samsuri will now join Chow Kon Yeow, Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari and Datuk Seri Aminuddin Harun as the chief executive of a state who also sits in the Dewan Rakyat.