PKR must resolve internal strife or face another crisis, says analyst

All eyes will be on the PKR congress tomorrow as the party seeks to quell dissatisfaction stemming from the recent party polls.

(FMT) – If not handled properly, it could spark a crisis like the one it experienced in 2018, said political analyst Sivamurugan Pandian of Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM). That crisis was also related to party elections.

Sivamurugan said PKR needed to sort out problems related to the recent polls or risk something similar to the “Sheraton Move” in 2020, which saw Barisan Nasional, Bersatu, PAS, and a PKR faction led by Azmin Ali joining forces to topple the Pakatan Harapan government.

Allegations of electoral fraud, such as claims of result discrepancies and of phantom votes being cast, have marred the party polls and forced PKR to postpone the congress until the completion of a forensic audit.

The party’s incoming deputy president, Rafizi Ramli, has described the objections raised as “noise” from those who lost in the elections and urged party members to ignore them.

Sivamurugan told FMT he saw this as proof of strife in the party.

“It will prolong if not resolved immediately,” he said, adding that it could lead to the defection of a faction to a rival party.

He also warned that the conflict could diminish PKR’s chances in the 15th general election, noting that there was already a perception that the party was on shaky ground following its losses in the Sarawak, Melaka and Johor state elections.

Another analyst, Izani Mohd Zain of Universiti Putra Malaysia, said the congress would provide the party with a platform to galvanise its grassroots.

He said PKR should not only focus on strengthening the party but also arrest the erosion of public trust in its politicians.