Of the 66 contestants bidding for the 20 central executive committee posts in the DAP's 16th national congress next month, 15 are mostly lawmakers from Penang.

azlanThe list includes Chief Minister and DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng (Bagan), national chairman Karpal Singh (Bukit Gelugor), Deputy Chief Minister II P. Ramasamy (Batu Kawan), state DAP chairman Chow Kon Yeow (Tanjung), Lim's political secretaries - Ng Wei Aik (Komtar) and Zairil Khir Johari.

Others includes Chong Eng (Bukit Mertajam), Jagdeep Singh Deo (Dato' Keramat), Liew Chin Tong (Bukit Bendera), Ooi Chuan Aik (Jeff, Jelutong), RSN Rayer (Seri Delima), A. Thanasekharan (Bagan Dalam), The Yee Cheu (Tanjung Bungah), Ariffin Omar (Senator) and Zulkifli Md Noor (Penang Municipal Councillor).

With the exception of several new faces, most of the nominees are in the current CEC leadership list, whose term ends this year.

The party's national congress organising chairperson Teresa Kok said that on Wednesday, 37 out if 103 nominees informed national headquarters of their intention to withdraw from the contest.

Tough polls battle ahead for Penang

A total of 2,500 delegates are expected to attend the national congress and vote, after party elections had been postponed twice in anticipation of the coming 13th general election.

The polls ,which must be held by April next year, is expected to see  the DAP led Pakatan Rakyat Penang government face a tough fight with the BN.

"The 20-elected CEC members will, according to the party constitution, elect among themselves the respective office bearers," Kok,  said in a statement.

"(They are) to co-opt no more than 10 Party members into the CEC," added the Selangor chief.

DAP's senior advisor and Ipoh Timur MP Lim Kit Siang and Kok herself would be in running in the Dec 15 and 16 battle at the Penang International Sports Arena.

Vocal critic Selangor vice chief and state legislative speaker Teng Chang Khim is also not left out in the race, which is expected to be a mild affair, with no major changes to the present CEC.