(Updated 11:55pm, 23 March 2009)
IPOH, 23 March 2009: Former Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin has been chosen as the PAS candidate for the Bukit Gantang parliamentary by-election on 7 April.
PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang made the announcement this evening at a ceramah in Simpang, near Taiping.
Mohammad Nizar, who is Perak PAS deputy commissioner, is also the Pasir Panjang state assemblyperson. He is one of four potential candidates considered for the seat.
He was chosen as Perak Menteri Besar after the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) coalition wrested the state from the Barisan Nasional (BN) in the 8 March 2008 general election.
But the BN managed to topple the PR state government in February, after three PR assemblypersons announced that they would become independent. The Sultan of Perak then dismissed Nizar and swore in Pangkor state assemblyperson Datuk Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir was as the new Menteri Besar.
Nizar is currently embroiled in a suit challenging the legitimacy of Zambry’s appointment.
The Barisan Nasional (BN) has named Ismail Saffian, 49, the former Bukit Gantang Umno information chief, as its candidate for the by-election.
The Bukit Gantang seat fell vacant following the death of the member of parliament (MP) Roslan Shaharum of PAS, on 9 Feb. Nomination for the by-election is on 29 March.
Two other by-elections are also taking place simultaneously — the Bukit Selambau state seat in Kedah, and the Batang Ai state seat in Sarawak.
In the general election held in March last year, Roslan defeated the BN’s Datuk Seri Abdul Azim Zabidi Roslan by a majority of 1,566 votes while an independent candidate, M Mogan, secured only 882 votes and lost his deposit.
The Bukit Gantang parliamentary constituency has an electorate of 55,562. — Bernama