PETALING JAYA: The battleline is drawn as 157 candidates scramble for positions in PKR’s unprecedented free-for-all party elections.
Although incumbent party president Datuk Seri Wan Azizah Wan Ismail was returned unopposed, fierce multi-cornered fights are on the cards for deputy president, vice-president, and leadership council posts.
The race for the number two post will see a three-cornered fight bet-ween party heavyweights Azmin Ali, Mustaffa Kamil Ayub and Datuk Zaid Ibrahim.
Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim sprung a surprise when he pulled out of the fight for deputy presidency at the 11th hour.
Apparently, Khalid who had announced his plan to go for the deputy president post last week had come under severe pressure not to take part in the polls, and instead to focus on running the state.
In the meantime, Azmin warned all contenders not to use dirty tactics in their campaign or face stiff punishment, saying the party leadership wanted the contests to proceed in a clean and disciplined manner.
Party deputy secretary-general Sharifah Shahidah Syed Kamarul-zaman said 19 candidates were vying for the four vice-president posts including Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah Anwar.
Thirty candidates qualified to contest for the vice-president posts, but only 19 submitted nomination forms before the 6pm deadline yesterday.
Others in the running are Tian Chua, Mansor Othman, Fuziah Salleh, Mohd Yusmadi Mohd Yusoff, S. Manikavasagam, Baru Bian, R. Sivarasa, N. Gobalakrishnan, Jonson Chong, Abdullah Sani Abdul Hamid, Ansari Abdullah, Dominique Ng, Dr Xavier Jayakumar, James Ghani, Jimmy Donald, Mohd Yahya Sahri, Saiman Marjuki and R. Suresh Kumar.
A total of 135 candidates are vying for the 20 leadership council posts.They include Elizabeth Wong, Dr Badrul Amin Bahron, S. Kottapan, Latheefa Koya, Loh Gwo Burne, S. Manikumar and Yaakob Sapari.
The race for the Youth chief post will see a straight fight between fiery orator Badrul Hisham Shahrin aka Chegu Bard and incumbent Shamsul Iskandar Mohd Akin.
Mohd Rafizi Ramli, who represented the Generasi Reformasi team, was said to be party adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s anointed candidate but he pulled out at the last minute, saying he wanted to focus on formulating campaign strategies for the 13th general election.
The deputy Youth chief post will also see a straight fight between Chang Li Kang and Khairul Anuar Ahmad Zainudin.
The Wanita wing will see a three-cornered fight between incumbent Zuraida Kamaruddin, Dr Suraya Sudin, and disciplinary council chairman Animah Ferrar for the top post and a straight fight between Rodziah Ismail and Asmah Abd Kadir for the deputy post.
Sharifah said polling would be held over the weekends from Oct 29 to Nov 21.
She said the final list of candidates would be announced on Oct 24.
The election results would be announced during the annual party congress scheduled from Nov 26 to Nov 28.
Sharifah said all the 218 divisions, including the 13 pro-tem divisions, would take part in the direct election process.
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