Is Penang Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) deputy chief Dr Mansor Othman the party’s choice for the upcoming Penanti by-election?

PKR is expected to announce its candidate in Penanti at 9pm Tuesday.

Party insiders said that Dr Mansor, 56, a former Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) lecturer who once served as Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s political secretary when the latter was deputy prime minister, was the front-runner for the contest.

They said that Dr Mansor had become the party’s primary choice when he was not nominated as PKR’s candidate for senatorship by the Penang State Assembly.

Earlier, he was said to be among the candidates for senatorship.

Instead, Penang PKR state secretary Mustafa Kamal Mohd Yusoff and DAP vice-chairman Tunku Abdul Aziz were recommended to become senators next month.

Penang PKR chief Datuk Zahrain Mohamed Hashim, when contacted, neither denied nor confirmed that Dr Mansor was the party’s candidate, except to say that PKR would announce its choice Tuesday.

Dr Mansor is said to be Anwar’s favourite candidate for Penanti and he may even be the choice for the now-vacant deputy chief minister’s post if he wins.

Penanti is the sixth by-election after the General Election on March 8, last year. The Election Commission has fixed May 23 for nomination and May 31 for polling.

The Penanti seat fell vacant after former Penang deputy chief minister I Mohamad Fairus Khairuddin resigned.