Smooth polling in Chini by-election, 59% cast votes by 1pm

Voters wait to cast their ballots in the Chini state by-election today. (Bernama pic)

PEKAN: Polling in the Chini state by-election is proceeding smoothly with 59% of the voters having cast their ballots at 1pm.

Pahang police chief Abd Jalil Hassan said there had been no reports of any untoward incidents since the polling centres opened at 8am.

Earlier, Election Commission (EC) deputy chairman Azmi Sharom said compliance with the SOPs, introduced for the first time because of Covid-19, had been satisfactory “except it is a bit difficult when comes to social distancing”.

He said the voting process was “slightly slower than usual” with the introduction of new processes such as the wearing of gloves.

Azmi said the EC would review the SOPs and make improvements, if needed, for the next general election.

The by-election is a three-cornered fight among Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate Mohd Sharim Md Zain, 41, and two independents, Tengku Zainul Hisham Hussin, 64, and Mohd Shukri Mohd Ramli, 49.

It is being held following the death of Abu Bakar Harun, 60, of Umno from a heart attack on May 7.

Polling closes at 5.30pm.

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