In a historic first, PKR members to vote directly to elect leaders

(The Star) – Some 400,000 PKR members nationwide will cast their votes in October and November to elect their leaders directly, a historic first in the country.

Party deputy president Senator Dr Syed Hussin said here Tuesday that there was no other political party in the country which had its leadership elected by the members.

“Previously, delegates to the general assembly voted in the national leaders but with the amendments to the PKR constitution to allow for direct elections passed at a special assembly last year, we are conducting the direct elections this year,” he said.

The PKR elections will be staggered over eight-day election, Dr Syed Hussin said.

He said members from 205 branches and 13 pro-tem branches would cast their ballots between Oct 29 and Nov 21 to decide on the president, deputy president, four vice-presidents and 20 central committee members for the 2010-2013 term.

“We have set out a schedule for the branches to cast their votes during the weekends and the counting will be done on the same day,” he told a press conference here.

He said there would also be simultaneous elections for the 25 posts respectively in the national women and youth wings.

Dr. Syed Hussin said the elections for the leadership in the branches, and women and youth wings have been scheduled between Sept 17 and Oct 3.

Official results would be announced at the national assembly scheduled for Nov 27 and 28, he added.

He said a 10-member election steering committee headed by Dr Molly Cheah has been set up to oversee the running of the branch and national party elections while 150 election supervisors have also been appointed.

“Members whose applications were approved before June 27 are eligible to contest and vote,” he said.