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PENGKALAN CHEPA, March 22, 2015:

The Election Commission (EC) expects that the result of the Chempaka state assembly by-election to be known by 9.30pm tonight. Chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Yusof said this during a media conference at SM Agama Tengku Amalin Aishah Putri here this afternoon. “We respect the culture here, they will be performing their prayers at mosques here. “Therefore we estimate that the result will be announced after the Isyak prayer, around 9.30pm,” said Abdul Aziz. As of 12 noon today, about 38.8% (7,915) of the voters had voted to choose their new assemblyman to replace the late Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat who passed away on Feb 12 due to prostate cancer. According to Aziz, the percentage of voters who had come out for the first three hours showed a “good trend”. He hoped that more voters would come out to choose their new leader before the centres closed at 5pm. “As at 11am, 31% or 6,382 had come out to vote. This is only in three hours. “With this percentage, it means that 10% of the voters came out for every one hour and this is a good sign, if the trend continues until evening, probably the percentage will be high as we expected which is 70%. “But if the number declines drastically after 1pm, the percentage will drop,” he told reporters, here. He also explained reports and data collected from previous by-elections where there were no candidates from Barisan Nasional (BN). “BN did not contest at the Penanti by-election (2009) and Bukit Gelugor by-election (2014) and the percentage of voters who came out was only 46% and 56.3% respectively. “So this means that when there is no competition between the big parties, the number of voters declined. But we are not so sure about Chempaka yet,” he added. EC estimated that 70% of the total 20,390 voters would come out to vote today at the Chempaka by-election where nine polling centres are opened along with 39 channels. The Chempaka by-election sees a five-way battle between PAS’ candidate Ahmad Fathan Mahmood @ Muhammad and Independent candidates Izat Bukhary Ismail Bukhary, 48; Sharif Mahmood, 59; Fadzillah Hussin, 55 and Aslah Mamat, 64.

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