The Kimanis parliamentary seat by-election in Sabah will take place on January 18, the Election Commission announced today.
The Election Commission’s (EC) chairman, Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun, added that nomination day is scheduled for Jan 4, while early voting will take place on Jan 14.
He also said 29,664 were registered to vote in the by-election.
Azhar added that the EC has identified 329 persons with disabilities, who will be assisted to cast their votes.
“The EC will be using the Dewan Datuk Seri Panglima Haji Mohd Dun Banir, Beaufort, as the nomination and polling centre,” he said.
“We estimate a voters’ turnout of 70 per cent,” he said.
A total of 20 polling centres will be opened, with 69 voting streams, from 7.30am to 5pm on Jan 18. The entire process will involve 653 personnel.
Azhar revealed that the EC will be spending RM3.6 million for the by-election.
The by-election is being held after the Federal Court decided to uphold the Election Court’s ruling nullifying Datuk Seri Anifah Aman’s Kimanis parliamentary seat win in the 14th general election (GE14), last year.
The Election Court’s decision on Aug 16 this year followed Parti Warisan Sabah candidate Datuk Karim Bujang filing a petition challenging the GE14 result on June 18 last year.
Anifah, who is former Foreign Minister, won the seat with a 156-vote majority, securing 11,942 votes against Karim’s 11,786 votes.
Another candidate, Jaafar Ismail of Parti Harapan Rakyat Sabah, obtained 1,300 votes.
Anifah, who won the seat on an Umno ticket, later quit the party to become an Independent MP.
Speculation is rife within Umno ranks that Anifah could return to contest under a BN ticket.
Apart from Anifah, his son Ahmad Zachry Anifah is also speculated to be named as the BN candidate.
Umno is expected to face an uphill battle if the by-election turns out to be a three-cornered fight involving Anifah, Umno and Warisan.
The Kimanis by-election will be the 10th held since the GE14.