Ahead of polls, Azmin warns against PKR factionalism


(The Malay Mail Online) – The overt political alliances forming ahead of PKR’s internal polls is a detrimental development in the party, incumbent deputy president Azmin Ali cautioned today.

Responding to the formation of a pact by deputy presidential challenger Datuk Saifuddin Nasution’s new pact with vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar, Rafizi Ramli, Chua Tian Chang, Fuziah Salleh and Badrul Hisham Shaharin, Azmin said it these would portray the party as divided by factions.

“These alliances, groupings are not healthy for the future of the party,” he told reporters here today.

Calling Saifuddin’s camp a “cartel”, Azmin stressed that leaders should be elected based on their personal capacity to contribute to the party and not whom they align themselves with.

The race for the party’s No. 2 post, originally a crowded six-man tussle, is now a four-way match after both Chua and former Puchong branch chief S Murali withdrew on Friday.

The senior leaders now aiming for the party’s No. 2 spot include the incumbent Azmin, Selangor mentri besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim, Saifuddin and Hulu Selangor branch member Datuk K. Ramachandram.

Azmin also denied allegations made by Saifuddin that PKR is still a Malay-based party, stressing that the party’s leadership and grassroots support showed that the party was diverse in many ways.

When asked to respond to demands that live debates be organised between the candidates vying for the number two post, the Gombak MP said he would leave it to the party secretariat to decide on the matter.

Nominations for PKR’s 22 Selangor branches kicked off today, coincidentally the same time as Azmin had his press conference.

Polling will follow at each branch from April 25 to May 11. The full results will be announced on May 13.