Permatang Pauh by-election: PKR retains seat vacated by Anwar

BUKIT MERTAJAM, Malaysia - Pakatan Rakyat (PKR) has retained the Permatang Pauh parliamentary seat, but with a reduced majority, according to unofficial results.

As at 8.15pm, Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail polled 27,971 votes and Suhaimi Sabudin of Barisan Nasional getting 16,673 votes, a reduced majority of 11,298 compared to the 11,721 obtained during the 13th general election.

Two other candidates - Parti Rakyat Malaysia's Azman Shah Othman, 50, and independent candidate Salleh Isahak, 53, lost their deposits in the four-cornered fight, having gained just 90 votes and 280 votes respectively.

Voter turnout was recorded at 73.71 per cent or 52,983 voters, lower than the last general election with an 88.2 per cent turnout or 62,660 voters.

The Permatang Pauh seat was declared vacant when its incumbent Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was disqualified as a Member of Parliament when the Pardons Board rejected an application for a royal pardon sought by his family over his conviction for sodomising former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan.

Anwar, who is PKR adviser, had won the seat by a majority of 11,721 votes in the May 2013 general election.

He polled 37,090 votes while Mazlan Ismail of Barisan Nasional polled 25,369 votes.

Independent candidate Abdullah Zawawi Samsudin got just 201 votes then.

Wan Azizah, 63, is no stranger to the seat, having won it in 1999, 2004 and 2008. In 2008, however, she resigned several months after winning to enable Anwar to contest the seat and make a return to Parliament.