73 SEATS GALORE – NOT 60 – UP FOR GRABS IN SABAH POLLS: WILL SHAFIE HAVE ENOUGH ‘DIE-HARD FANS’ READY TO BRAVE RETURNING COVID-19 FEARS TO VOTE FOR HIM? WILL MENTOR MAHATHIR DARE SHOW UP TO ‘CAMPAIGN’ FOR HIM? EVEN MOSQUITO BERSATU’S NIPPING AT SABAH UMNO MAY NOT BE ABLE TO DENT THE MUSA AMAN ‘CASH-FUELLED JUGGERNAUT’

KOTA KINABALU: A total of 73 seats will be contested in the upcoming Sabah election, up from 60 previously, the Election Commission (EC) said today.

“Seventy-three seats will be contested,” Sabah EC director Rohiman Rahia told Bernama.

On Thursday, Chief Minister Shafie Apdal announced the dissolution of the state assembly, paving the way for a state election to be held within 60 days.

In July last year, the Dewan Rakyat approved a bill to increase the number of seats in the Sabah assembly from 60 to 73.

The bill was supported by all 158 MPs, including representatives from Sabah. – BERNAMA

Sabah polls: Umno and Bersatu on possible collision course?

Both Sabah chapters of Umno and Bersatu today staked claims over their rights to field candidates in the upcoming state elections, which would likely overlap.

In a statement today, Sabah Bersatu head Hajiji Mohd Noor said that the party has identified 45 out of 73 seats available.

This included eight seats which were won on an Umno ticket in 2018, but the lawmakers have since defected to Bersatu, which did not field any candidates during the last Sabah legislative assembly election.

Bersatu and Umno are allied at the national level. Their relationship in Sabah is currently uncertain. Prior to the dissolution of the legislative assembly on Thursday, both parties were sitting on the opposition bench.

Sabah Umno, according to Bung, will discuss seat allocation with its BN allies PBRS and MCA tomorrow while Sabah Bersatu is slated to fine-tune election preparations sometime in the coming week, according to Hajiji.

Hajiji, the Sulaman assemblyperson who defected from Umno in 2019, promised that Sabah Bersatu will hold discussions with Umno and BN to ensure a joint victory.

On Sabah Bersatu’s manifesto, Hajiji said it will focus on reviving the state’s economy following the Covid-19 outbreak and ensuring the rights of Sabahans are protected.

“We will ensure that the people of Sabah feel safe, secure, comfortable, and live harmoniously.

“We are confident that Bersatu will be the best alternative (to the Warisan government) which will be accepted by the majority to lead Sabah,” he said.

During the upcoming state election, there will be 73 seats up for grabs, up 13 from the May 2018 elections. MKINI

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