Four-cornered fight in Malaysia's Permatang Pauh by-election

BUKIT MERTAJAM (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The Permatang Pauh parliamentary by-election will be a four-cornered fight between Barisan Nasional, Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), Parti Rakyat Malaysia (PRM) and one independent candidate.

PKR president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, wife of opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, will take on Barisan's Suhaimi Sabudin, PRM's Azman Shah Othman and independent candidate Salleh Ishak.

They filed their nomination papers in Berapit on Saturday.

A fifth person, Dr Abdullah Zawawi Samsudin, decided to pull out, citing two other candidates who put their names in the fray.

Returning officer Jusni Ismail made the announcement in front of a large group of supporters from both Barisan and PKR.

The Permatang Pauh seat was declared vacant when Anwar was disqualified following the Pardons Board's rejection of a royal pardon he sought for the five-year jail for his sodomy conviction.

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

He polled 37,090 votes to Barisan Nasional's Mazlan Ismail who polled 25,369 votes.

The Election Commission has set May 7 for polling and May 3 for early voting.