Anwar to contest PKR president’s post

(FMT) – Anwar Ibrahim today announced that he would be contesting the post of PKR president. 

Ending speculation on whether he would contest the post, Anwar said the decision was made after discussions with the party leadership.

The post is currently held by his wife Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, who is also the deputy prime minister.

“Lately, there have been many views about the need for me to lead PKR and to replace Azizah as the president. I have carefully considered each opinion. 

“And so, after discussing with Azizah, the deputy president, the leadership and after considering all the views and the needs of PKR, I offer myself as a candidate for the post of PKR president,” he said in a statement, adding that if given the mandate, he would assume the post after PKR’s national congress in November.

There has been much speculation about Anwar’s role in the party and whether he would consolidate his position.

Political analyst Kamarul Zaman Yusoff said PKR deputy president Mohamed Azmin Ali’s quick climb in the government might not sit well with the party’s more senior leaders, including Anwar, who is the party’s de facto leader.

Kamarul Zaman said Anwar could be going for the president’s post in an attempt to consolidate his position in PKR, as he prepares to take over the government from Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, as promised to him before the general election last May.

Azmin, who was appointed to the powerful portfolio of economic affairs under the Prime Minister’s Department, could face a challenge to his party post at the coming PKR congress.

Kamarul said although Azmin was well placed to pose a challenge to Anwar for the president’s post, the former Selangor menteri besar was aware of the repercussions.

“He will be seen as the bad guy if he does this. As it is, he is influential among the grassroots, so it’s better to bide his time than rock the boat,” Kamarul told FMT.