Grs To Name Chosen Candidates For Straight Fights Says Jeffrey
TAMBUNAN: The Gabungan Rakyat Sabah coalition is to announce its backing for one candidate in various multi-contest seats to ensure a straight fight against Warisan Plus, STAR president Jeffrey Kitingan said today.
He admitted that it was too late for candidates to withdraw their candidacies which must be done within 48 hours of nominations, but said there would be a special strategy where one candidate agreed upon will be supported by the others.
“We cannot back down now because more than 48 hours has passed but we will announce that we will help (campaign for) one candidate only.
“For example, for me in Tambunan, PBS needs to campaign together to inform our voters that there’s only one candidate,” he told reporters here today.
He said a full announcement will be made as early as tomorrow or by Sept 24. Polling takes place on Sept 26.
News of plans to end “friendly fights” among coalition partners was raised by Perikatan Nasional secretary-general Hamzah Zainudin who was reported to have said that GRS parties had agreed to avoid clashing with each other.
However, PBS adviser Joseph Pairin Kitingan said he had not been not informed of such a consensus, and maintained that the party was not withdrawing from any of the seats it is contesting
Pairin said the party was willing to cooperate with its allies in GRS though this did not mean it was withdrawing from contesting in any of its seats.
While campaigning today, he said: “There is no possibility of withdrawing because we have candidates using the PBS symbol. If we wanted to withdraw, it would have been before nomination day.”
PBS is pitted against BN parties in 15 seats. It was originally set to go against Umno in Bengkoka, Tanjung Aru and Telupid, against PBRS in Matunggong, Tandek and Kadamaian, and against Sabah MCA in Kapayan and Karamunting; however, on nomination day, the party announced it was contesting seven additional seats – Paginatan, Lumadan, Tambunan, Bingkor, Tulid, Moyog and Liawan.
In total, there will be clashes in 17 seats among BN, PN and PBS. In Paginatan and Tulid, there will be a three-way fight among them, and this does not take into account the other contesting parties. - FMT
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