Wan Azizah to replace Anwar in Kajang?


Anwar hopes his wife can once again help him fight the battle to take over Putrajaya, starting with Kajang

(FMT) – PKR president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail looks set to be thrown into mainstream politics once again after being considered as the frontrunner to replace Anwar Ibrahim as the candidate for the Kajang state seat by-elections.

A party insider told FMT today that Wan Azizah was being asked to replace Anwar to keep the party’s Kajang Move scheme afloat.

“Only she is seen as the most capable candidate to pull through the party’s plan, and to be the Selangor Menteri Besar,” said the insider.

“Within the inner circle of PKR, it is quite certain that Wan Azizah will be the replacement candidate, with Anwar leading the campaigning.

“What needs to be done now is to sell this idea to our Pakatan allies and that will be done in the course of the Pakatan congress which is underway now,” added the insider.

Kajang Move is a scheme put together by party’s strategic director Rafizi Ramli and a few others to enable Anwar to contest in the state seat, and then to eventually replace Selangor Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim so that Pakatan Rakyat will be in a much better position to take over Putrajaya in the next general election.

The plan however went awry following yesterday’s Court of Appeal ruling to sentence Anwar to five years jail for sodomy.

First it was believed that the party had shortlisted three candidates to replace Anwar in Kajang – Rafizi, party secretary-general Saifuddin Nasution and PKR vice president Nurul Izzah Anwar.

Last night Anwar told a ceramah in Kajang that the party has shortlisted 12 names as possible candidates for the Kajang by-election which will be held on March 23.

However now it has emerged that Anwar and leaders close to him want Wan Azizah to make a return to  mainstream politics once again.

She was first thrown into the political landscape following Anwar’s sacking 1998 and subsequent imprisonment in 1999. She became the PKR president – a position which she still holds – and  contested in Anwar’s Permatang Pauh parliamentary seat in the 1999 general election.

She retained the parliamentary seat in the 2004 and 2008 general elections but stood down in August 2008 to pave way for Anwar – who by then had been released from prison and had exhausted the ban against contesting in elections.

Anwar won the by-election with a landslide victory to make a return to politics, and this coincided with Wan Azizah taking a back-step from politics and party matters, leaving everything to her husband.

She was also expected to step down as the party president in the coming party polls to allow Anwar to take over.