Friday, April 02, 2010
Hulu Selangor: Expect 'Umno-sponsored' independent
The ongoing conflict in Barisan Nasional over who to field in the Hulu Selangor by-election may lead to an independent “sponsored by a certain proxy” within BN to join the race.
“If an independent candidate surfaces, be assured that it is sponsored by a certain proxy from among the BN coalition,” said PKR secretary-general Saifuddin Nasution Ismail.
He said several of his sources inside Umno have spoken of a tussle at the grassroots over who will contest the seat, which has traditionally belonged to MIC.
His source also informed him that since MIC deputy president G Palanivel’s name was tossed several leaders in Umno had voiced their disapproval.
As a result of this conflict, he said, an independent candidate may appear.
“If the demands of the Umno members are not met, they may come forward as independents representing their own interest,” added the Machang MP.
'Umno will be the hand behind it'
He said based on previous by-elections, Umno will be the hand behind the sponsorship of an independent candidate.
“If there is an independent candidate, he could be a proxy of BN/Umno,” he added.
Having said that, Saifuddin did not consider the culture of fielding independents as similar to the role of independent MPs in Parliament.
The Hulu Selangor seat fell vacant following the death of PKR incumbent Zainal Abidin Ahmad, 71 last Thursday.
The constituency has 64,500 registered voters comprising 63,701 regular voters and 799 postal votes. Of this 32,380 are male voters and 32,120 women.
The constituency has a Malay majority of 34,020 voters. Chinese and Indians comprise 16,964 and 12,453 voters respectively.
The Election Commission announced earlier today that nomination for the constituency will be on April 17 and by-elections set for April 25.