PKR says will contest more federal seats in coming election

(The Malaysian Insider) – PKR has said it will contest more federal seats in the next general election despite already taking the lion’s share of seats and suffering the most number of party defections since 2008.

PKR secretary-general Saifuddin Nasution told The Malaysian Insider although seat negotiations for some states have yet to be finalised, PKR will most likely have “slightly” more candidates running in parliamentary seats than in 2008.

“Although discussions are currently on-going, the numbers on paper so far show that there is a slight addition to the seats which PKR will be contesting.

“This is due to the contribution of Sabah and Sarawak seats which PKR will contest. The seats in peninsula are likely to remain status quo,” he said.

The Machang MP said state-level seat negotiations ended last month, and the PR central leadership was now deliberating and finalising the respective seats and candidates.

“There are currently three categories — clean seats where a candidate is accepted by all parties, incumbent seats where a particular seat was won by, say, PKR but DAP expresses an interest to contest.

“There is also a case of overlapping of seats, whereby a particular seat was not won in the last GE but two or three Pakatan parties have expressed interest in contesting that seat,” Saifuddin added.

He stressed that seat talks among PR’s top guns were coming along “smoothly”, but said that there was no “timeline” as to when the matter would be concluded.

“I am optimistic it can be settled soon,” said the PKR leader.

PR leaders have dispelled talk of squabbling among its state leaders over seat negotiations for the coming polls despite reports of bickering among PR party members, leading to talk of fractures within the pact.

PKR contested 97 federal seats in 2008 while PAS and DAP ran in 66 and 47 respectively.

But PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang had said in September that the party aims to win 60 federal seats in a general election expected soon.