PKR presidency: Wan Azizah to battle Anwar


The race for PKR presidency depends on the way two issues – Anwar’s appeal and Wan Azizah’s appointment as the MB – move

Leven Woon and K Kabilan, FMT

PKR president Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, who was touted to make way for her husband Anwar Ibrahim, made a shocking move to square off with the latter for the coveted post.

It is still unclear on why Azizah, who was supposed to step down, has suddenly decided to defend her seat.

The move could trigger a huge battle between both leaders, who are said to have their own legion of supporters in the party.

While PKR deputy president Azmin Ali is fiercely loyal to Anwar, Selangor menteri besar Abdul Khalid Ibrahim, who is also Azmin’s nemesis, is said to be in Wan Azizah’s good books.

When asked about the matter, their daughter, incumbent PKR vice president Nurul Izzah Anwar, said Wan Azizah had made the move in answer to the current Malaysian political uncertainties.

“There are challenges brought on by the ruling elite, even Karpal Singh was forced to resign as DAP chairman.

“She (Wan Azizah) has to answer the bigger calling for the nation and for the future of the party. I will leave the rest of the justification for her to tell,” she said.

The Lembah Pantai MP joked that she will have about ten days to think about who to vote for, as the objection and withdrawal period for the PKR polls will go on until April 10.

Wan Azizah was not immediately available for comment after nominations ended at 5pm today.

Bigger picture

It is still possible for one of them to withdraw from the race before nationwide party polling takes place from April 26 to May 11. The candidates have until April 10 to withdraw.

A party insider told FMT that the present situation of having the de facto leader and his wife going against each other for the No 1 post came about after Anwar and his inner circle of party leaders debated throughout the night of several future scenarios which could affect the party.

“For one, there is this concern over the outcome of Anwar’s appeal at the Federal Court over his sodomy conviction,” he said.

“And then there is this grand plan called Kajang Move which will see Wan Azizah, the new Kajang state rep, being pushed to replace Khalid Ibrahim as the Selangor menteri besar. This, however, depends on the state sultan’s prerogative.

“If in the next week or so there is enough support within Pakatan to move Wan Azizah to be the new MB, Anwar believes they can convince the sultan to replace Khalid. However the sultan is happy with Khalid’s administration,” he added.