KOTA KINABALU: The Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) coalition has garnered a simple majority in the Sabah state election, according to official results released by the Election Commission (EC) on Saturday (Sep 26) night.
The coalition, which is backed by Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, comprises Perikatan Nasional (PN), Barisan Nasional (BN) as well as other state-based parties such as Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) and Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku (STAR).
At around 11.30pm, the EC confirmed that GRS component parties have won 37 seats, more than half of the 73 seats in total.
Meanwhile, their main contenders, the Warisan Plus coalition, prevailed in 26 constituencies as of 11.30pm, according to the EC.
The incumbent Warisan Plus coalition comprises Parti Warisan Sabah (Warisan), fellow state-based United Progressive Kinabalu Organisation (UPKO) as well as Pakatan Harapan (PH) national parties Democratic Action Party (DAP), Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) and Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah).
The results mean that GRS can form the new state government and a new chief minister will be appointed to replace Warisan chief Shafie Apdal.
The polls saw multi-cornered fights in all 73 seats. A total of 447 candidates, including 56 independents, stood in the election.
At 11.30pm, EC chairman Abdul Ghani Salleh said in a press conference that among GRS coalition parties, PN has 17 seats, BN has 14 seats and PBS has six seats.
Meanwhile, for Warisan Plus coaltion parties, Warisan garnered 24 seats, PKR one seat and UPKO one seat. Two seats went to independent candidates.
As of 11.30pm, results for 65 out of 73 seats were announced.
Key GRS leaders Bung Moktar Radin and Hajiji Mohd Noor, from BN and Bersatu, won their seats in Lamag and Sulaman convincingly.
Speaking to the media at around 9.30pm, Mr Bung Moktar said: "GRS is in the midst of discussing its direction and other problems … We promise that this government will be transparent and the people's welfare (will be) taken care of."
The polls were conducted amid political uncertainty at the federal level, after opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim announced on Wednesday that he has garnered _