The winner (left) and the loser on nomination day. It was reported that Karim did not wait for the final result.

KUCHING: The official results do not seem to come so soon but the unofficial Election Commission (EC) count at 7.20pm showed Barisan Nasional (BN) has retained the Kimanis parliamentary seat.

By 9.20pm the official results were still not forthcoming but the vote counts made available to reporters showed BN’s Datuk Mohamad Alamin has won the seat, edging out Parti Warisan Sabah’s Datuk Karim Bujang with a majority of 2,029 votes.

Mohamad polled 12,706 votes against Karim’s 10,677.

The 48-year-old winner is not new to politics, having been Bongawan assemblyman from 2013 to 2018, but he lost the state seat in the 14th general elections (GE14) in 2018 to Warisan’s Dr Daud Yusof.

The official announcement only came in at 9.30pm.

Yesterday’s win ensured that Barisan keep its stranglehold on a seat that has traditionally been its stronghold in Sabah.

Former foreign minister Datuk Anifah Aman held the seat for Barisan from 2004.

In 2018, he polled 11,942 votes against Karim’s 11,786 votes, retaining the seat by a slim margin of 156 votes.

Warisan’s Karim filed an election petition with the Election Court to challenge the result and won. The by-election was triggered when the Federal Court on Dec 2 upheld the Election Court’s ruling on Karim’s petition.