KELANTAN, March 22 – An EC spokesman said the actual turnout would be announced after the vote-tallying process at Dewan Bitara Maktab Rendah Sains Mara (MRSM), Pengkalan Chepa, which include figures for postal and early votes. The Chempaka by-election is a five-cornered contest among a PAS candidate, Ahmad Fathan Mahmood alias Mahamad, 42, who is the ulama affairs chief in the constituency, and four independent candidates.
The independent candidates are former lecturer Izat Bukhary Ismail Bukhary, 48; former Kelantan Perkasa vice-president Sharif Mahmood, 59; Pertubuhan Keturunan Paduka Raja Cik Siti Wan Kembang president Fadzillah Hussin, 55, and businessman Aslah Mamat, 64. The by-election has been necessitated by the death of the assemblyman, PAS spiritual leader and former Kelantan menteri besar Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat on February 12 at the age of 84.
Early voting was held on March 18 for 1,497 soldiers and their spouses. The turnout was 530 or 35.4%. The Barisan Nasional (BN) has opted out of the by-election, choosing to focus instead on the rehabilitation work after Kelantan was hit by extraordinary floods in December last year. According to the Elections Commission, the result is expected to be announced at 9.30pm. – Bernama