Azmin offers himself for PKR No. 2 post

Malaysia Chronicle

As expected, PKR vice president Azmin Ali has thrown his hat into the ring for the party’s deputy presidency, setting the stage for a thrilling fight with FT division chief Zaid Ibrahim.

He also promised a clean fight as advised by PKR de-facto head Anwar Ibrahim, who has warned both him and Zaid to follw the code of ethics laid out by the party for its first-ever direct election, where each member will get to vote in November.

“After considering the opinions of the top leadership, party members and direct discussions with Syed Husin, I would like to offer my services for deputy presidency with much humility and tawadhu’ (humblesness),” he said in a statement

“I also aim to ensure that the 2010 party elections will be held in a healthy atmosphere and in with a family spirit throughout the campaign and polls.”

Already unhealthy

However, Azmin’s wish for ‘healthy’ fight might easier said than done,. Both he and Zaid have alarmed party members with aggressive actions that have raised eyebrows. Azmin’s colleagues in Parliament and in the state assemblies have vouched for him,while Zaid has taken his fight to the media.

“I think Zaid has ruined his own chances by hitting out at PKR. If he thinks PKR is like Umno, why did he leave Umno and later join us? He has shown he is ruthless and only cares about his own power even to the extent of hitting out at Anwar. ? If he doesn’t respect our culture or think we are beneath him, he should leave. We hope that he will resign,” a PKR member close to Azmin told Malaysia Chronicle.

However, those close to Zaid insist Azmin started it with his “series of infantile shows of support”. So far, the Gombak MP has received more than a dozen pledges of endorsement from PKR lawmakers including Teluk Kemang MP Kamarul Abas , Ampang MP Zuraida Kamaruddin and Kapar MP S Manickavasagam.

“Is it necessary to show off like this? Just because he has been in the party longer doesn’t mean he owns it. PKR needs new direction and Zaid is the better qualified individual as far as we are concerned. He has got the multiracial touch and PKR is a mixed party not a Malay-dominated one like Umno. I think Zaid is fighting on a matter of principle. If he is in the party, and he wants to go for a post, why not challenge for it? What is there to be scared,” a PKR member close to Zaid told Malaysia Chronicle.

Keeping a close watch

To be able to contest, both Azmin and Zaid will need to get two nominations each. Both are sure to sure them. However, there is still speculation that a third contender in the form of Selangor Mentri Besar Khalid Ibrahim may enter the fray later on. There is still another two weeks to go before nominations end.

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