Wednesday, August 27, 2008

It's Anwar, as expected - NST

By : A. Kathirasen, Sharanjit Singh, Lee Keng Fatt, Elizabeth John, Audrey Dermawan, S. Arulldas, Adie Suri Zulkefli, Melissa Darlyne Chow and Sajahan Waheed


As expected, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim won the Permatang Pauh by-election yesterday.

He polled 31,195 votes compared with the 15,524 obtained by Barisan Nasional's Datuk Arif Shah Omar Shah.

Anwar's majority of 15,671 votes was bigger than that obtained by his wife Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail in the March general election.

The third candidate, Hanafi Mamat, who contested on a Parti Keadilan Insan Malaysia (Akim) ticket, only managed to get 92 votes, losing his RM15,000 deposit in the process.

There were 447 spoilt votes.

With the win, Anwar takes back the seat he had held from 1982 to 1999. In 1998, after he was sacked from government and jailed, Dr Wan Azizah won the seat in the general election that followed. She was returned again on March 8 but resigned on July 31, to force a by-election so that Anwar could return to Parliament.

That Anwar was set to make his political comeback after a 10-year absence, of which six were spent behind bars, became apparent by the time polling stations closed at 5pm.

An estimated 40,000 Pakatan Rakyat supporters swarmed the Tuanku Bainun Teacher Training College grounds to celebrate the victory.

The crowd began to gather at the area from 4pm. Conspicuously missing were Barisan Nasional supporters.

When the crowd grew larger, the field set aside for BN supporters was opened to Pakatan Rakyat supporters.

The crowd cheered each time the returning officer announced Anwar had won in a particular polling station.

Shouts of "reformasi" and "Merdeka" filled the air with supporters waving their party flag.

Dubbed the "mother" of all by-elections, BN was the underdog from the start as Permatang Pauh has long been Anwar's turf.

[More at]