EC: By-election for Galas

864 by-election will be held for the Galas state seat in Kelantan following the death of its incumbent assemblyman Che Hashim Sulaima today.

EC deputy chairman Datuk Wan Ahmad Wan Omar said the EC would decide on the by-election date after receiving an official notification on the seat’s vacancy from the state legislative assembly speaker.

“A by-election will have to be called because the vacancy occurs within a period of less than three years from the last general election (in March 2008). A by-election needs not be held if the vacancy occurs after May next year,” he said when contacted by Bernama.

Che Hashim died at 4.30pm today at the Al-Islam Medical Centre, here after a long battle with colon cancer.

He won the Galas seat in the last general election after defeating Saufi Deraman of Barisan Nasional with a majority of 646 votes. He polled 4,399 votes as against Saufi’s 3,753.

Meanwhile, in Kota Baru, Kelantan Mentri Besar Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat extended his condolences to Che Hashim’s family and described his death as a huge loss to PAS.

Speaking to reporters at his home in Kampung Pulau Melaka, he said although Che Hashim was relatively new in politics, he had contributed immensely to Islamic struggle through PAS.

Asked on PAS’ preparations for the by-election, Nik Aziz said the party was always prepared not only to face by-elections but also in all situations in carrying out its Islamic struggle.

Meanwhile, Kelantan Umno liaison chief Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed also conveyed the party’s condolences to Che Hashim’s family. — Bernama