Battle for PKR No 2 post takes another twist

By Rahmah Ghazali, Free Malaysia Today

KUALA LUMPUR: The battle for PKR deputy presidency is taking another twist when supporters of Zaid Ibrahim alleged that the latest official vote count released by the headquarters here today could have been manipulated.

According to Firdaus Christopher, Zaid’s special assistant, “human error” was not solely responsible for the result of the first count.

Before the official result was released, the press was abuzz with news that Zaid was comfortably leading the race with 3,683 votes to Azmin Ali’s 3,051 and Mustaffa Kamil Ayub’s 1,271.

However, the decision was reversed by secretary-general Saifuddin Nasution this afternoon, who announced that Azmin was the front-runner, with 3,051 votes as opposed to Zaid’s 2,529. Mustaffa has managed to gain 1,149 votes.

Saifuddin, who blamed the miscalculation on “human error”, also said that there was a recount before the official tally was released following protest from both camps.

But Firdaus cast doubts on the “foolproof” data.

He said that his camp will clarify figures provided by the headquarters with the ones they have received to ensure that there were no “discrepancies”.

If there are discrepancies in the vote count, an official complaint will be filed against the party headquarters, said Firdaus.

“I am not saying that the figures are right or wrong, but can the central election commission (CEC) ensure that this human error will not repeat itself in the coming weeks?” he asked.

“We want the CEC or the party secretariat to ensure us a foolproof system for us to have confidence in a free and fair election,” he added.

‘Our figure shows Zaid is leading’

Meanwhile, election agent for Zaid, Rashid Azad Khan, told FMT that his figures showed that Zaid was leading the race, but the ones issued by the headquarters were different.

“I am checking now with my people on the ground. If our figures are correct, we will complain to the headquarters. Let me go through this first and I will let you know tomorrow,” he said.

However, a source close to Azmin defended the official result, saying that it should not be questioned as the headquarters was fair in rectifying the mistake.

The source also said that the numbers could turn out to be different from what Zaid’s camp has expected, as there could be discrepancies in the vote tally of the divisions which took part in the polls last weekend.

“Some might have miscalculated the votes and reported wrongly to the headquarters. I think it was only fair for the headquarters to be given a chance to rectify the mistakes from each divisions,” the source told FMT.

The source also said that the number of votes obtained by Zaid’s camp did not guarantee accuracy.