Khalid bids to catch up in PKR polls

Khalid Ibrahim

(MM) – The race for the PKR deputy president post is getting hotter with Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim pushing hard to finish first, given that he is currently trailing his rivals.

Incumbent Azmin Ali leads with party secretary-general Datuk Saifuddin Nasution Ismail in second place ahead of Khalid as of April 27 when Zone One completed its voting in the PKR polls.

This weekend, Zone Two will involve Johor, parts of Sarawak, Sabah, Malacca and Negri Sembilan. (Zone One involved Penang, Kedah, Kelantan, Terengganu and parts of Sarawak.)

Trying to improve his chances, Khalid had proposed that political leaders holding public office should stay for only two terms to give others an opportunity to implement new ideas.

Khalid, however, did not specify whether the proposal was for all political leaders or merely for PKR leaders holding public office.

But the fact is that Khalid’s second term as Selangor Menteri Besar has been a rough ride as he manoeuvres politicking from his own boss — de facto party chief Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim — and his arch-enemy Azmin, who has been after ‘his blood’ since 2008.

Khalid is being seen as making the statement under pressure, pleading to those going after his MB’s post to allow him a smooth ride during his  second term.

The PKR constitution does not stipulate any specific period for party leaders to hold public office except for the party president, who can only stay for three terms ― meaning for incumbent president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, this is her last term.

Khalid is trying to level up with Azmin and Saifuddin in the Zone 2 voting process and Zone 3, to be held next weekend involving Selangor, Federal Territory, Pahang and parts of Sabah.

Whether he can gain ground on the other two contenders or not is immaterial but Khalid does not seem to be giving up.

There are no issues that Khalid can raise at the moment, given the party members’ dissatisfaction over his ‘maverick’ ways in administering the state, which led to water rationing and the Bible seizure controversy.

Meanwhile, the party election committee had declared voting in the Batang Sadong division in Sarawak as null and void following a complaint last week by party member Badrul Hisham Shaharin about cheating.