Rafizi to replace Anwar in Kajang by-election?


(TMI) – PKR has a list of replacement candidates for the Kajang by-election if the Court of Appeal today overturns Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s acquittal in a sodomy case that could put him in prison, say sources.

The Malaysian Insider learnt the PKR leadership has identified one candidate – its strategy director, Rafizi Ramli, who is also architect of the “Kajang move” – as the likely choice to replace Anwar.

Rafizi declined to comment on a possible replacement candidate, saying that was up to Anwar to announce if it came to that.

Party deputy president Azmin Ali has also denied there were contingency plans if Anwar was found guilty.

Another party insider said it had a candidate on standby but declined to elaborate.

“We are also looking at other potential party members who could be nominated to defend the seat,” another source told The Malaysian Insider.

The Election Commission has fixed nomination on March 11 and polling on March 23.

The public prosecutor’s appeal against Anwar’s acquittal is being heard in the Court of Appeal. A verdict could be expected as early as today or as late as Monday, the eve of the nomination day.

Anwar’s consolation is that the court could defer judgment at a later date for the judges to deliberate on the submissions by the prosecution and the defence.

Over the last two weeks, Anwar has been battling in the Court of Appeal and Federal Court, especially to disqualify Umno lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah from prosecuting the case as ad hoc deputy public prosecutor but was not successful.

His final bid to stop Shafee as DPP by applying for an interim stay before the Federal Court on Wednesday was also dismissed.

Anwar, who is Permatang Pauh MP, has been and calm and composed during the proceedings and even managed to crack jokes with reporters covering the case.

However, his supporters, who have been coming to court to give him moral support, are concerned which way the Court of Appeal verdict would go.