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Monday, April 27, 2009

> Mansor to be named PKR candidate

Penang PKR deputy chief Dr Mansor Othman is expected to be named as the party's candidate for the upcoming Penanti by-election on May 31 in Penang.

Mansor, 56, is a former university lecturer and student leader. He also served as Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim's political secretary during his tenure as deputy premier.

It is learnt that the announcement will be made by Anwar tomorrow night in Penanti.

Party insiders said that Mansor is now almost certain to be the party's candidate after he was not chosen as PKR's nominee as a senator by the state assembly today.

That position went to PKR state secretary Mustafa Kamil, who was approved by the Penang state assembly as a senator from PKR.

If selected, Mansor, largely seen as Anwar's favourite candidate for the Penanti by-election, would also assume the vacant deputy chief minister post if he wins the by-election.

"As it stands, Mansor is the PKR candidate for Penanti barring any last minute accident," said a source close to Mansor.

Defeated narrowly in 2008

In the 2008 general election, Mansor contested for the Pulau Betong state seat but lost by 294 votes to Umno's Muhammad Farid Saad.

He was Anwar's original choice to be the state deputy chief minister but had to forgo it to Mohamad Fairus Khairuddin as a result of this defeat.

Penanti will be the sixth by-election since the March 8 general election, five of which were snatched by Pakatan Rakyat.

The coming battle for the state seat - located under the Permatang Pauh parliamentary constituency - is also expected to be won by Pakatan.

However, Barisan Nasional has yet to decide if it will contest. The decision will be made by the Umno political bureau soon.

Permatang Pauh is considered the fortress of Anwar who is the incumbent parliamentarian there.

The Penanti seat fell vacant following the resignation of former Penang deputy chief minister I Mohamad Fairus - Malaysiakini.