Sarawak State Elections Seat Negotiations between DAP and PKR

By pywong

The current hot news is the ongoing seat negotiations between DAP and PKR and how it has broken down. The story is that DAP wants 18 seats, mainly Chinese-majority and that PKR wants to reduce it to 13 by demanding 5 of their seats.

It will be instructive to look at the situation during the 2006 Sarawak State Elections. 

Of the 5 seats in dispute (N9 Padungan, N13 Batu Kawah, N25 Balai Ringin, N63 Piasau and N65 Senadin) 4 were contested by PKR and 1 by SNAP (N25 Balai Ringin). Even then, both the candidates who contested in Balai Ringin are now PKR members. Hence PKR’s request for the 5 seats. The issue here is DAP demanding 5 seats, 4 of which were contested by PKR previously. 

The principles of seat negotiations have always been:
1. Incumbent seats to be contested by the incumbent party. Eg N9 Padungan was held by Dominique Ng Kim Ho (PKR),
2. Seats contested by a particular party in the past, gets to contest again in the same seat unless there are exceptional circumstances warranting a change. This principle has been respected in all the by-elections since Mar 2008.

In the seat negotiations, it is clear that PKR has respected those principles. They have not demanded any seat that DAP contested in the past, not even N27 Simanggang that was contested by SNAP. The only dispute are with seats that PKR stood for in 2006 plus N25 Balai Ringin where Ibi Anak Uding previously from SNAP, is now with PKR. DAP wants those seats.