: Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) today announced that it will not be fielding a candidate in the Chini state by-election on July 4 after taking into account that the fight against COVID-19 pandemic is far from over.
Its secretary-general Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail said the matter had been agreed to by the Pakatan Harapan presidential council although the standard operating procedures (SOPs) are in line with the new normal practices currently being drafted in the run-up to the election.
“The safety and health aspects of voters are still a concern. PKR is of the view that the new SOPs will have an impact on how election campaigns and fieldworks will be carried out.
“For example, the rule that limits not more than 20 people in any public speaking engagement needs to be explored, and we have yet to be told on the procedure for house-to-house campaigns, ‘pondok panas’ (hot spots) and other matters that are equally important and the routine practice in the context of preparing for the election,” he said in a statement here.
The Chini state seat fell vacant following the death of incumbent Datuk Seri Abu Bakar Harun of a heart attack on May 7.
In the 14th general election (GE14), Abu Bakar polled 10,027 votes to win the seat by a majority of 4,622 votes against PAS candidate Mohd Fadhil Noor Abdul Karim who obtained 5,405 votes, and Mohamad Razali Ithnain of PKR (1,065 votes).
The Election Commission (EC) has set the nomination day on June 20, with early voting for June 30, and polling on July 4.