JOHOR BARU, Feb 26 — The Johor state election looks set to be intense with 239 candidates contesting, paving the way for multiple-cornered contests in all 56 seats.

From the Election Commission’s (EC) nomination list, both the Tiram and Kempas state seats are the most highly contested.

Both seats will see a seven-corner contest involving five independent candidates in the two seats.

For the Johor polls, four-cornered contests dominated the field with 35 seats. This was followed by eight seats having five-cornered contests.

A total of seven seats will feature three-cornered contests and four seats with six-cornered contests.

EC chairman Datuk Abdul Ghani Salleh said a total of 223 candidates from 10 political parties and 16 independent candidates are eligible to contest in the Johor state election on March 12.

Of the total 239 candidates, he said none were rejected.

“From the figure, Barisan Nasional (BN) and Perikatan Nasional (PN) each have 56 candidates, while Parti Pejuang Tanah Air (Pejuang) are fielding 42 candidates and Pakatan Harapan (PH) with 30.

“Besides that, PKR are fielding 20 candidates, followed by 16 independent candidates and seven from the Malaysian United Democratic Alliance (Muda).

“A total of six candidates are from Parti Warisan (Warisan) and four candidates representing Parti Bangsa Malaysia (PBM). Both Parti Bumiputera Perkasa Malaysia (Putra) and Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) fielded one candidate each,” said Abdul Ghani at a press conference held at the Persada International Convention Centre here today.

Abdul Ghani said the oldest candidate is a 71-year-old and he will contest in Bukit Permai.

“The youngest candidate is 26, with two who will contest in Mengkibol and Tangkak state seats,” he said, adding that a total of 202 male and 37 female candidates will contest in the state election.

The campaign period for the Johor state election has officially begun and will end at 11.59pm on March 11.

Earlier, the nomination process which started at 9am took place amid strict standard operating procedures (SOPs) statewide.

Only the candidates, their proposers and seconders were allowed into the centres.

The EC has set March 12 as the polling date for the Johor state election and early voting will be on March 8.

Johor has 56 state constituencies, with more than 2.59 million voters who are eligible to cast their ballots. The EC is targeting a 70 per cent voter turnout.