PETALING JAYA: It may be a crowded race for the PKR deputy president’s post with up to three possible hopefuls challenging incumbent Azmin Ali when nominations open tomorrow.
Apart from Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim, who has declared his interest, the other possible aspirants are rising star Nurul Izzah Anwar and senior face Tian Chua. Both are incumbent vice-presidents and second-term MPs.
PKR election chairman Datuk Johari Abdul said he had informed his team to be prepared for a multiple-cornered fight for the No. 2 post.
Johari, who is the Sungai Petani MP, also confirmed that Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was eligible to contest the presidency despite the pending decision on the veteran’s sodomy case.
“For as long as he has not exhausted his legal avenues, I will allow him to contest,” said Johari.
“He has not said anything to me about the post, but I believe he is still on track. But don’t ask me about Kak Wan (Datuk Seri Dr Wan Aziziah Wan Ismail) because she has not whispered anything to me,” he added.
Anwar had earlier indicated his interest in replacing his wife as the party president.
A party insider said Azmin would only stay put as deputy president if Anwar went for the presidency. Otherwise, Azmin would challenge Dr Wan Azizah for the party leadership.
It is learnt that Azmin, who is the Gombak MP and Bukit Antarabangsa assemblyman, had collected two sets of nomination papers – one for the deputy presidency’s post and the other for the president’s post – in case Anwar changed his mind tomorrow.
The deputy president’s post has become pivotal in the light that if Anwar fails in his appeal at the apex court, the No. 2 will have to helm the party.
Selangor exco member Rodziah Isamil, who is aligned to Khalid, is expected to take on incumbent Wanita chief and Ampang MP Zuraidah Kamaruddin, who is in Azmin’s camp.
The Youth wing leadership will see a three-way fight between Amiruddin Shari, Mohd Nazree Yunus and Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad.
Johari is expecting an unprecedented number of candidates going for national posts in anticipation of what he said were “big things to come in the next general election”.
He said stern action would be taken against those who used money politics, made promises or offered incentives of any kind to voters or slandered their opponents.
Nominations tomorrow will be for the posts of president, deputy president, four vice-presidents and 20 central committee or MPP (majlis pimpinan pusat) members.
The party’s one-man one-vote system will see polling take place at branch level meetings from April 25 to May 11. The results of the election will be known by May 13.