Azmin denies manipulating PKR polls

By Syed Jaymal Zahiid, Free Malaysia Today

KUALA LUMPUR: PKR vice-president Azmin Ali today rubbished allegations that he was playing dirty in the contest for the party’s deputy presidency.

“All the problems with regard to the party you blame it on me,” he quipped in response to reporters’ requests for comments.

Azmin’s detractors claim that he has party supremo Anwar Ibrahim’s backing and that they have total control over party election matters and are using that power to ensure the victory of their men for key positions.

Anwar’s daughter Nurul Izzah, who is said to be capable of rattling Azmin’s influence, was recently rejected as a contender for the deputy presidency although she has received more than the required two nominations.

Party secretary-general Saifuddin Nasution said only one nomination for Nurul was valid because the other nominations, which came from divisions in Sabah and Sarawak, they were submitted after the Oct 10 deadline. That ruling has come under attack from some party leaders.

[However Saifuddin, in a press conference today, said Nurul is eligible to contest after garnering six nominations.]

The two Borneo states are the stronghold of Zaid Ibrahim, Azmin’s main challenger for the Number 2 post. Pundits say Nurul is a silent backer of the former law minister.

Many party leaders have claimed ignorance about the nomination deadline and alleged that there was no such ruling before Nurul hinted that she might vie for the deputy presidency.

They have blamed Azmin for what they said was the sudden emergence of the “restrictive and dirty” ruling, saying it was part of a conspiracy to maintain an “Anwar-Azmin cartel” within the party.

Azmin described these allegations as absurd.