BUTTERWORTH: Parti Keadilan Rakyat appeared to have an upper hand over Pas over the Sungai Acheh state seat after the party decided to field Badrul Hisham Shahrin or popularly known as 'Cikgu Bard' to wrest the seat from Barisan Nasional in the 13th general election.
State PKR chief Datuk Mansor Othman said the party had decided to field its candidate for the seat, ending Pas' battle to have its traditional seat be returned to its fold.
Mansor issued the statement via a SMS (short messaging service) sent by his press secretary just now.
"The national PKR and Penang PKR have decided to defend the Sungai Acheh state seat in the 13th general election and I am announcing that PKR will field Badrul Hisham Shahrin or Cikgu Bard as PKR candidate for Sungai Acheh seat," reads the statement.
It is learnt that the announcement came following a meeting between PKR and Pas national leadership to resolve their overlapping demand for the seat.
The decision was a blow for the state Pas which was seeking an additional seat from the five state seats and two Parliamentary seats allocated for the party in Penang.
State Pas commissioner Datuk Mohd Salleh Man is scheduled to announce the party's candidates tomorrow (Wednesday) evening.
Sungai Acheh, one of the three state seats under Nibong Tebal Parliamentary constituency is a Malay-majority seat traditionally contested by Pas but it was 'leased' out to PKR during the 2008 general election.
However, PKR candidate Dr Azhar Ahmad lost to BN Datuk Mahmud Zakaria by a slim majority of 250 votes.
Both PKR and Pas had since respectively claimed that it is capable in wresting the seat from BN in the 13th general election, due to its purported 'safe seat' status.
There are 15,107 registered voters in the constituency according to the gazetted electoral as of November 2012 with 65 per cent are Malays, followed by 26 per cent Chinese while Indian voters make about 7.5 per cent.