CHUKAI: Perikatan Nasional has maintained its total control of Terengganu by retaining the Kemaman parliamentary seat by a majority of 37,220-votes – more than the coalition received in the 15th general election.
The Election Commission announced yesterday that Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Samsuri Mokhtar had garnered 64,998 votes giving the coalition a landslide win.
His opponent from Barisan Nasional, Gen (Rtd) Tan Sri Raja Mohamed Affandi Raja Mohamed Noor obtained 27,778 votes.
The mood among Perikatan’s supporters who had gathered at Arena Square was ecstatic as the results showed that the coalition had surpassed its initial targets.
Ahmad Samsuri’s victory had been anticipated but the results far exceeded expectations as the Perikatan leadership had aimed for a 30,000-vote majority.
In the 15th General Election (GE15), Perikatan won Kemaman by a winning margin of more than 27,000 votes.
When asked by the media about whether this victory was his first step as Perikatan’s candidate for prime minister, Ahmad Samsuri again denied that this was his goal.
“It is not my target or objective in entering politics to take up such a high position.
“However, if I am given the trust by the party and the people in the future, then I will consider it,” he said.
The Kemaman by-election was called after the Terengganu Election Court on Sept 26 nullified Perikatan’s Che Alias Hamid’s victory in the due to elements of bribery during the campaign period.
In GE15, Che Alias won the seat under the Perikatan ticket by polling a total of 65,714 votes, giving him a winning majority of 27,179 votes in a four-way fight.
Che Alias’s closest competitor, Barisan’s Datuk Seri Ahmad Said, obtained 38,535 votes, while Pakatan Harapan’s Hasuni Sudin obtained 8,340 votes.
Ahmad Samsuri will now join Chow Kon Yeow, Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari and Datuk Seri Aminuddin Harun as a chief executive of a state who also sits in the Dewan Rakyat.
He had been tipped to secure the seat for Perikatan after his administration was widely credited for the coalition’s astounding victory in the August state polls.
Perikatan managed a historic clean sweep of all 32 state seats in a state that had since the 1960s been a stronghold of its rival Barisan.
In GE15 in November last year, Perikatan also managed to win all eight parliamentary seats in Terengganu, including the Kemaman seat.