KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 12 — Barisan Nasional (BN) has named acting Tanjung Malim Umno chief Mohd Zaidi Aziz as its candidate for the Slim state by-election scheduled for Aug 29.

The announcement on the selection of Mohd Zaidi, 43, was made by Perak BN chairman Datuk Saarani Mohamad, who is the coalition’s Slim by-election director at Felda Residence in Slim, near here, today.

The by-election is being held following the death of incumbent Datuk Mohd Khusairi Abdul Talib on July 15.

Nomination is on Saturday, Aug 15.

According to Saarani, nine candidates had initially been proposed to be fielded as the BN’s candidate for the by-election.

“All of them are qualified and high calibre candidates, but only one was finally selected, the best of the bests,” he said.

In the 14th General Election, Mohd Khusairi defended the state seat with a majority of 2,183 votes by defeating Mohd Amran Ibrahim from Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu), who contested under the PKR ticket, and Muhammad Zulfadli Zainal of PAS.

Perak has 59 state seats and out of the total, PN has 32 seats, namely, Umno-led BN with 25 seats; Bersatu (five), PAS (three) while DAP  has 16, Amanah (five), PKR (three), Independent (one) as well as Gerakan (one).

Tonight, former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is expected to announce the candidate of his newly-founded party, Pejuang, who will be contesting in the Slim by-election on an Independent ticket. — AFP