TANAH RATA: The process of nominations for the Cameron Highlands parliamentary by-election started at 9 am today at Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan (SMK) Sultan Ahmad Shah here.

Candidates vying for the seat are given an hour – up to 10 am – to submit their nomination forms at the nomination centre before the returning officer, Ishak Md Nais, announces the names of the contestants about 11 am.

Pahang Election Commission director Zamree Hamli said as at 5 pm on Friday, 11 sets of nomination forms had been purchased – three sets each by Pakatan Harapan (PH), Barisan Nasional (BN), and independents and two sets by the People’s Progressive Party (MyPPP).

PH has announced DAP Pahang deputy chairman M Manogaran as its candidate while BN will be fielding Ramli Mohd Nor, a retired senior police officer and a local from the Orang Asli community. Also, M Kayveas of MyPPP is expected to join the fray.

The by-election is being held after the Election Court declared BN candidate C Sivarraajh’s victory in the 14th general election (GE14) null and void due to evidence of corrupt practices to influence voters.

In GE14, Sivarraajh won the seat in a five-cornered fight after garnering 10,307 votes, edging Manogaran who secured 9,710 votes; Wan Mahadir Wan Mahmud of PAS (3,587 votes); Mohd Tahir Kassim of Berjasa (81 votes) and B Suresh Kumar of Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) (680 votes).

The EC has set Jan 13 as the date for the issuance of postal votes, Jan 22 for early voting, Jan 25 for ballot box inspection and Jan 26 for polling.

For the first time, the EC will provide a live crossover on the nomination, polling and vote-counting on its Facebook page, www.facebook.com/sprgovmy/.

The Cameron Highlands parliamentary constituency has within it two state constituencies, namely Tanah Rata and Jelai. It has a total of 32,009 voters, including 247 early voters, 12 absentee voters and 385 disabled voters.

The by-election is the fifth to be held in the country since GE14, after the by-elections for the Sungai Kandis, Seri Setia and Balakong state seats in Selangor and the Port Dickson parliamentary seat in Negeri Sembilan. – FMT