Nearly 200 Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) members here announced their resignation on Tuesday night, dealing a blow to the party’s bid to recapture the Sandakan parliamentary seat for Barisan Nasional in next month’s general election. The en bloc resignation by Elopura division members led by the division Youth Chief Thien Lee Min came four days after State Deputy Youth Chief cum Tanjung Papat Youth Chief Fong Vun Fui quit his posts over the party leadership’s choice of an outsider to contest the Sandakan parliamentary seat. They pledged their support for Fong Vun Fui who is contesting on an independent ticket for the Sandakan parliamentary seat against Barisan Nasional’s Datuk Liew Vui Keong and Chong Chui Lin @ Shanty of DAP. Thien who is also the State Youth Wing vice chief, and his followers explained the move to resign from the party was taken after the party leadership’s decision to axe incumbent Merotai assemblyman Datuk Liew Yun Fah and pick an outsider to contest the Sandakan parliamentary seat. Meanwhile, The Borneo Post learnt more members who are unhappy with the leadership’s insensitivity to the views and feelings of the grassroots and Sandakan people, are quitting the party in the next days for similar reasons. Meanwhile, Sandakan Umno will support whoever is chosen as the BN candidate to contest the parliamentary seat here. “Sandakan Umno rejects the issue played up by certain quarters in calling the BN candidate Datuk Liew Vui Keong an outsider,” Sandakan Umno vice chairman Haji Alipuddin Haji Puyon said yesterday. This group were wrong if they think they could influence voters into not supporting him, he added. Alipuddin pointed out it was a non issue and Sandakan Umno would work to ensure BN recapture the Sandakan parliamentary seat. Meanwhile, Sandakan Umno division chairman Datuk Seri Panglima Haji Ampong Haji Puyon said a vote for BN is a vote for continual development. “Sandakan Umno will continue to give its support to Datuk Liew Vui Keong and is confident BN will win back the Sandakan parliamentary seat from the independent this election,” he said. Ampong said the independent member of parliament was incapable of bringing development to Sandakan in the last four years. “For the future of the younger generations in Sandakan, we must not choose the wrong candidate this time round. By voting for Barisan Nasional candidate Datuk Liew Vui Keong means we will have continuity in progress and prosperity for this town,” he added.