PETALING JAYA: PAS' polls slated in June is beginning to intensify as Kota Baru division is expected to announce a candidate to challenge Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang (pic) for the president's post.
This was despite calls by the ulama faction and the top leadership that the No. 1 post should be left uncontested as Hadi still has party support.
In an invite extended to the media, a press conference will be held at Kota Baru PAS' division office at 10pm, Monday, as the division began its committee meeting.
"Yes, it is confirmed that we will announce the candidate tonight," Kota Baru PAS division chief Datuk Wan Abdul Rahim Wan Abdullah told The Star Online.
However, he said he could not divulge more details on the candidate as it has yet to be finalised.
"We have already shortlisted the names, but the decision will only be made at the meeting at 9.30pm tonight. We will then announce the name at the press conference at 10pm," he said.
When pressed further on the potential candidate, he said, "It is not a surprise.”
When asked whether this would go against the calls that the top post should be left uncontested out of respect for Hadi as an ulama leader, Wan Abdul Rahim said members were merely exercising their right.
"We have been given the mandate to name our own choice candidate, therefore it is within our right to do so," he said.
An online news portal had previously reported that the division's decision was not a sudden move as the candidate had been picked "a long time ago".
The candidate was believed to be a person capable of solving the infighting plaguing the Islamist party.
In his 13 years in office, Hadi has not been challenged by anyone since he took over the post from Datuk Fadzil Noor who died of a heart attack.
The ulama faction has made a strong call for members not to contest the top post in bid to show that Hadi has the backing of the party.
However, PAS' national unity bureau chief Datuk Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa said it was not wrong for members to contest the post, adding that it would not cause PAS to split.