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Tuesday, February 3, 2009

> Anwar and Nizar discuss by-election

Although the status of the State Legislative Assembly seats for Behrang and Changkat Jering have yet to be decided by the Election Commission (EC), the Perak Pakatan Rakyat state government has begun to make preparations to face the by-elections in the two constituencies.

Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) advisor Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim paid a courtesy call on Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin at the latter’s residence, here today and the main agenda of their discussion was the by-election for the two constituencies represented by the PKR.

According to a state government source, Anwar and Nizar held the discussion after lunch. “We believe the two leaders discussed preparations to defend the two seats in the by-election besides discussing current developments,” the source told reporters. 

The EC will only meet tomorrow to determine the status of Mohd Osman Jailu (Changkat Jering) and Jamaluddin Mohd Radzi (Behrang) who were reported to have vacated their seats yesterday.

However, both Asssemblymen had denied vacating their seats.

EC Chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof said in Putrajaya that the matter had to be discussed thoroughly especially from the legal aspects as there was significant factual contradiction which had caused a confusion.

Yesterday, Perak State Assembly Speaker V Sivakumar announced that he had received the resignation letters of Jamaluddin and Mohd Osman.

However, both Assemblymen claimed that the letters referred to by Sivakumar were the ones that they signed on March 8, last year after the general election.

The source said that Pas deputy spiritual leader Datuk Harun Din was also present at the discussion.

Media representatives who had been waiting outside the Menteri Besar’s residence since morning did not have the opportunity to meet Anwar who was seen leaving with several Perak PKR leaders in two cars at about 3pm.

The uncertainty concerning the status of the two Assemblymen had caused confusion on the position of the state government where the Pakatan Rakyat had 32 seats against 27 held by the Barisan Nasional (BN).

In the last general election, Jamaluddin received 6,771 votes to beat BN candidate Datuk M. Ramasamy who had 5,744 votes. Mohd Osman won with a 1,102-vote majority to wrest Changkat Jering. He polled 9,411 votes to beat the incumbent from BN, who was also the State Assembly Speaker in the previous government, Datuk Mat Isa Ismail who received 8,309 votes.

The Political Secretary to the Menteri Besar, Misbahul Munir Masduki, meanwhile said Mohammad Nizar would not make any statement to the media today as he was busy with preparations for the Sultan of Perak, Sultan Azlan Shah’s Silver Jubilee celebrations tomorrow - Bernama.