Respect BN as the party with most seats, says Annuar

(FMT) – General election seat allocations among members of the ruling Perikatan Nasional coalition should take into account Barisan Nasional’s position as the party with the most seats in the government, said BN secretary-general Annuar Musa.

He said BN was always open for discussions on the matter as long as the principles of its struggle were respected.

”We want the parties (in PN) to respect our position as the grand old party and give us a role befitting our status.

“BN will continue to engage with more parties ahead of GE15 (the next general election) and be more open especially with the 12 political parties in the PN government,” he told reporters after opening the Indian Progressive Front’s general assembly at Slim River today.

Annuar said seat negotiations among BN component parties had concluded, but were continuing within Muafakat Nasional, which consists of BN, PPBM and PAS.

Last week Annuar had said that BN had agreed that talks with PPBM should be expedited to reach a consensus on the seats to be contested, while it had reached 60% to 70% understanding with PAS after two rounds of talks.

On the proposal to include IPF as a BN component party, Annuar said the party would remain as friends of BN as no consensus had been reached among BN component parties on the matter.

However, he said BN chairman Ahmad Zahid Hamidi did not rule out the possibility of allowing IPF to contest in any seat which it has a good chance to win.

Annuar explains what Asyraf meant

Annuar also made a clarification about a statement by Umno Youth leader Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki recently about seat distribution talks. He said Asyraf’s comments had been misinterpreted.

He was reported to have said that the negotiations were no longer based on discussions between Umno and PAS, but rather between Barisan Nasional and Perikatan Nasional.

“What Asyraf meant is the final consultation after this, because we respect PAS’s position as a member of PN, that is what it means. So, maybe in the negotiations, PAS will be involved but on a PN platform.

“Similarly, on Umno’s side, it would be BN, so that once negotiations between Umno, MCA, MIC, Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah are done then we already have a framework.

“We can then sit together on behalf of BN and also PN, that is at the level of the steering committee and the consultative committee chaired by Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan,” he said.

According to Annuar, Umno is still in negotiations with PAS and component parties of BN, before the seat discussions are taken to the next stage between BN and PN.

“Negotiations are ongoing and at the coalition level we will have discussions individually… Umno-PAS, Umno-MCA, Umno-MIC and Umno-PBRS, and the same applies to PN, and they have four parties as well,” he said.