Sept 14 — As PKR faces some internal strife over the hastening of its president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s likely return to the Dewan Rakyat through a by-election in Port Dickson, there has been calls for the party polls to be postponed.
Bernama reported that PKR vice-president Shamsul Iskandar Mohd Akin had called for the party elections to be postponed until the Port Dickson parliamentary by-election was over.
He said the move was to ensure accountability besides ensuring that the party machinery and all those involved were present at the constituency during the run-up to the by-election.
Date set for PKR national congress
However, the party’s central election committee chairman Rashid Din has promptly responded, saying that any postponement would go against the Registrar of Societies (RoS).
The RoS had already fixed November 16 and 17 as the dates for the party’s national congress.
“Hence, before the congress takes place, leaders should be voted at the party election to be held at the state-level from Sept 22 to Oct 28. We cannot delay the election dates because we had already done so before,” he told Bernama today.
Rashid added that the election process in every party division was running smoothly so far.
“We have held an election-briefing session on the party’s e-ballot system. Members now understand the e-ballot system which they will use for the first time in the coming party elections,” he said.
The biggest contest in the PKR polls will see incumbent Azmin Ali being challenged for the post of deputy president by party vice-president Rafizi Ramli.
The contest is said to represent a wider split in the party with leaders close to Anwar leaning towards Rafizi while stalwarts in the party’s struggle since its Reformasi days mostly backing Azmin.
PKR nepotism under scrutiny
Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail dismissed accusations that PKR was rife with nepotism.
Should her husband, Anwar, win the Port Dickson by-election, there would be three members of the same family representing the party in the Dewan Rakyat, with Wan Azizah being the Pandan MP and Nurul Izzah the Permatang Pauh MP.
She said it was a non-issue.
“Is there a problem? Because I thought we were voted by the rakyat,” she said.
She also rebuffed claims that Anwar was being impatient, telling reporters he had been in jail for a total of 11 years in the past 19 years.
Anwar will be standing for the Port Dickson seat in a much-anticipated by-election that should see him return to the Dewan Rakyat for the first time since 2015 when he lost his Permatang Pauh seat over the Sodomy II conviction in 2015.