Sunday, February 24, 2008


KUALA LUMPUR: The gloves come off today - and the scramble for the 10.9 million Malaysian votes begins in earnest.
A total of 222 nomination centres will be opened this morning for candidates, who have been posturing for weeks, to file their papers for 222 parliamentary and 505 state seats. Although candidates can only officially start their campaigning after 1pm today, the political bombs and accusations have been hurled since Parliament and 12 state assemblies were dissolved on Feb 13.
However, till late last evening, some aspirants were still lobbying to get into the list of candidates on both sides of the political divide. And the acrimony that comes with being dropped seems more intense than ever before.
Barisan Nasional chairman Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi told party members to close ranks as the lists of candidates were final.
His number two Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak warned those dropped not to sabotage the ruling coalition's efforts.
The Perlis Barisan averted a crisis after the different camps accepted a compromise over controversial MB Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim.
Trouble continues to brew for Perak DAP despite the U-turn made by Fong Po Kuan to contest while Selangor DAP vice-chairman Peter Tan quit the party after he was not fielded.
PKR and DAP seem still unable to resolve the sharing of seats for Sabah and Sarawak.

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