As polls loom, PAS wavers over Anwar as PM 

(The Malaysian Insider) – PAS leaders have questioned Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s candidacy as prime minister should Pakatan Rakyat (PR) win federal power in Election 2013, with one confirming they have also sounded out Umno’s Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah for the top post.

Sources told The Malaysian Insider the questions arose at a closed-door meeting between PAS and PKR leaders on Sunday, after party president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang said last Saturday the Islamist party would not hesitate to leave the opposition pact should Islam and Malays lose out in coalition politics.

“PAS top leaders said it was ‘haram’ (illegal) for Anwar to ask for the prime minister post,” a PR source told The Malaysian Insider on condition of anonymity.

“Then a top PKR leader replied that Anwar had never asked for the prime minister post, and that it was the people instead who called for it. This has also been agreed to by PAS and other parties like DAP since the 1999 general election,” the source added.

Another PR source said the party’s top leaders have met with Gua Musang MP Tengku Razaleigh to invite the former finance minister to be prime minister should PR wrest Putrajaya in the approaching national polls.

“But Pakatan must keep in mind that they must be consistent about who will be prime minister-elect. Otherwise the people will see us as flip-flops,” said the source, using the phrase that has been directed at their political foes, Barisan Nasional (BN).

It was unclear if the PAS leaders’ move is widely supported within the Islamist party. PAS leaders from spiritual chief Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat to its MPs have all along supported Anwar as PM.

Still, there appear to be some moves to assure the PAS grassroots that it is the eminent member of PR and one way to show this is by getting the PM’s post.

However, this grandstanding by PAS is unlikely to pay off with the DAP and PKR firmly in support of Anwar as prime minister.

The issue of who would be prime minister should PR form the next federal government arose two weeks ago when the PAS syura council reportedly rejected Anwar as prime minister and would instead appoint an outside candidate for the post.

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