It will be a three-corner fight among Datuk Arif Shah Omar Shah of Barisan Nasional (BN), Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) advisor Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and Angkatan Keadilan Insan Malaysia (Akim) president Hanafi Mamat for the Permatang Pauh Parlliamentary by=election on Aug 26.
Returning officer Roslan Yahaya announced the candidates at the nomination centre at the Tuanku Bainun Teaching Institute here at 11.45am after the objection period ended at 11am.
He said five objections were received but none of the nominations was rejected.
Asked by reporters later about the nomination of a fourth candidate, Dr Mansor Othman, former Penang PKR chairman, he said Dr Mansor withdrew his nomination without giving any reason before the candidates were announced.
However, he lost his deposit because he withdrew after the nomination period ended at 10am, Roslan said."Any candidate can withdraw his nomination within the next three days," he added.
According to Malaysiakini his candidacy was part of a PKR contingency plan in the event of Anwar's nomination being rejected.
As it stands now, PKR's Anwar looks a sure bet to win this seat which was vacated by his wife Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail on July 31. It was a move to get Anwar back into Parliament after an absence of 10 years.(BN expects a tough fight but BN confident of victory: read here )
His most potent challenger is still BN's Arif Shah Omar Shah, a local man just like Anwar, as well as the incumbent Seberang Jaya state representative.The third candidate is Hanafi Hamat, the president of PAS splinter party Angkatan Keadilan Insan Malaysia (Akim).
Arif Shah, 51, was the first to submit his nomination form.Dressed in a yellow baju Melayu, he was accompanied by Deputy Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak to the nomination centre at Dewan Aminuddin Baki of the Tuanku Bainun Teaching Institute.
He submitted his nomination papers to returning officer Roslan Yahaya as soon as the centre opened at 9am.He was followed by Anwar who wore a light blue baju Melayu.
The opposition icon once again exuded confidence in winning the seat as he entered the nomination centre at about 9.05am
"I feel good", Anwar replied when asked by Malaysiakini how he felt about contesting again after 10 years in hiatus.
Senior to Arif Shah by 10 years, Anwar was the Permatang Pauh division chief at the time the former was its youth chief.
At the nomination centre today, the former deputy premier looked cheerful in the presence of his wife, children, Pakatan leaders and thousands of his supporters.
Also present was PAS' spiritual leader Nik Aziz Nik Mat, who despite being unwell still insisted on being there.
BN also had a strong presence. Seen lending their support today were Gerakan acting president Dr Koh Tsu Koon, who is also Penang BN chairperson, MIC president S Samy Vellu, MCA vice-president Ong Tee Keat, BN Youth chief Hishammuddin Hussein, Wanita Umno vice-head Shahrizat Jalil and Umno information head Muhammad Muhamad Taib. - malaysiakini
More reports on nomination day go here, here and here .
Picture : Courtesy of the Star: The BN Candidate Arif Shah (left) shaking hands with PKR candidate Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (right) and Independent candidate Hanafi Hamat,61, (centre) looks on after completing their nomination at Maktab Perguruan Tuanku Bainun in Mengkuang, Bukit Mertajam, Saturday.