However that did not deter them from rallying all their support behind the BN candidates for the P42 Tasek Gelugor Shahbudin Yahaya and three state seat candidates Omar Abdul Hamid for N4 Permatang Berangan, N5 Sungai Dua Muhamad Yusoff Mohd Noor and N6 Teluk Air Tawar, Datuk Jahara Hamid.
It was a carnival-like atmosphere as supporters from both sides arrived in colours of their respective party during the nomination day for the 13th general election.
About 1,000 Pas supporters marched their way to the nomination centre about 8.45am, followed by the BN entourage.
Supporters from both sides, who were kept about 400 metres away from each other, were singing and chanting and at times trading verbal shouts but the situation was kept checked by policemen throughout the one-hour nomination period.
Mohd Shariff, who is also the former agricultural and agro-based deputy minister marched arm-in-arm with Pas candidate for the parliamentary seat, Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Maidin and fellow Pas and Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) candidates for the state seats.
The Umno veteran, who had served as an assemblyman, state executive councillor, Deputy Chief Minister and as deputy minister under both BN state and federal administrations for 22 years, said he was contesting as a Pakatan-friendly Independent candidate and picked 'key' as the symbol in his campaign.
In the 2008 general election, Mohd Shariff had made way for former Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop to contest in Tasek Gelugor seat following a request by the then Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.
Nor Mohamed had then defeated Pas Ismail Salleh with a 4,547-vote majority.
BN had also made a clean sweep for the all three state seats through Shahbudin (Permatang Berangan), Datuk Jasmin Mohamad (Sungai Dua) and Jahara for the Teluk Air Tawar seat.
This time, Mohd Shariff is facing Muhammad Yusoff, who is also his former aide and Pas candidate Zahidi Mohamad, in a three-corner fight.
Newcomer Omar will face off with Pas veteran Arshad Mohd Salleh in his general election debut.
Meanwhile state PKR Wanita chief Norhayati Jaafar had booked her place to repeat her battle with Jahara, who had defeated her with by a 1,470 votes during the 12th general election.
At 11.30am, the Election Commission (EC) returning officer, Abdul Rashid Ibrahim for P42 Tasek Gelugor announced the official candidates list for the parliament and the state seats.