Azmin the loser in PKR polls, says Utusan


(MM) – Azmin Ali has been played out by his PKR party mates who have blocked him from making a bid for the chief’s hat and also at risk of losing his deputy presidency, editors at Umno-owned Utusan Malaysia said today.

Yesterday’s PKR nominations saw both Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail putting their bids in for the presidency at party polls in May, edging Azmin out of the race altogether.

It is understood that Azmin had wanted to contest the top post but was made to change his mind at the last minute.

“Awang pities other leaders like PKR deputy president Azmin Ali who has no chance to reach the top even though he has strong grassroots’ support and has been the backbone of the party,” the Malay broadsheet’s editors wrote in its Sunday Bisik-bisik Awang Selamat column today, under the headline “Who is the victim?”.

Awang Selamat is the collective pen name adopted by Utusan’s editors.

The column also pointed out that Azmin was now “trapped” as he now has no other choice but to engage in a six-man tussle and defend his current position.

Five senior PKR leaders have challenged Azmin for the Number Two spot, including party rival and Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim.

The others are: outgoing secretary-general Datuk Saifuddin Nasution Ismail, incumbent vice-president Chua Tian Chang, Hulu Selangor branch member Datuk K. Ramachandram and former Puchong branch chief S. Murali.

Khalid, publicly known for his on-going personal rivalry with Azmin, will most likely be the Gombak MP’s deadliest challenger as the former had the support of current president Dr Wan Azizah, Utusan said.

The editors claimed that the four challengers for the deputy presidency will most likely withdraw from the race in the near future to allow Khalid a clean win.

“So it is not too much for Awang to congratulate Khalid in advance… Wan Azizah is also more comfortable with Khalid compared to Azmin for many reasons including personal, sensitive issues.

“In conclusion, who is being played here if not Azmin… be patient, Azmin,” Awang added.