KUALA TERENGGANU, Dec 22 - Pas has yet to finalise its candidate for the Kuala Terengganu parliamentary by-election although its president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang claims the name is "in my pocket" party sources said today.
"They have narrowed down the names but the president has yet to decide," a source told The Malaysian Insider here.
Hadi had said the candidate, whom he said is a professional and people-oriented, was more than qualified to face Barisan Nasional's Senator Datuk Wan Ahmad Farid Wan Salleh, who is also deputy home minister. Wan Ahmad Farid said he will quit both appointments a day before nomination day on Jan 6.
Polling day is January 17 for the parliamentary constituency which has 80,229 voters. BN's Datuk Razali Ismail narrowly won the seat with a 628 vote majority in the March 8 elections, beating PAS' Mohamed Sabu and grandmonther Maimum Yusof. Razali, who was deputy education minister, died late last month.
Speculation is rife that PAS will name Batu Buruk assemblyman Dr Syed Azman Syed Ahmad Nawawi as its candidate as he was the Kuala Terengganu MP between 1999 and 2004.
Hadi, who had said he will make the announcement on Jan 1, is confident the party candidate will triumph on polling day.
The by-election is crucial to both Barisan Nasional and PAS with the ruling coalition out to prove it has regained support and strength after the dismal outing in the general elections where it lost its traditional two-thirds parliamentary majority and four more states to the opposition which has formed the Pakatan Rakyat electoral pact.
Barisan Nasional also lost the Permatang Pauh parliamentary by-election to Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, who took back his political stronghold from his wife Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, the president of Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR)
Pas has to prove to PKR that it is more than a junior member in the three-party electoral pact. The other party in the pact is the Democratic Action Party (DAP).
The DAP has now asked Pas to clarify its vice-president Datuk Husam Musa's declaration that it will implement the Islamic criminal laws known as hudud when the pact captures Putrajaya.
Both parties fell out over the same issue after the 1999 general elections where the opposition gained more seats due to Anwar's sacking as deputy prime minister and finance minister by then prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.