PETALING JAYA: The ulama faction in PAS continues to dominate nominations for party elections with president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang sweeping to a huge lead over two other nominees.
Even for the deputy presidency, an ulama received a much higher number of nominations than the “progressive” incumbent.
Interestingly, nominees for the vice-president posts are a mixed bag of those said to be aligned to both the ulama and progressive factions.
As of yesterday, Hadi received 80 nominations – way more than Datuk Husam Musa’s eight and veteran leader Ahmad Awang’s three.
With only a handful of the party’s 191 divisions yet to meet, Hadi is seen as the clear favourite to lead PAS.
PAS vice-president Datuk Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man is leading in the deputy president nomination list with 78 votes while incumbent Mohamad Sabu has received just nine.
In the race for the four vice-president posts, ulama leader Idris Ahmad leads with 64 nominations, followed by incumbent Salahuddin Ayub (40) and Kelantan Deputy Mentri Besar Datuk Mohd Amar Abdullah (36), Datuk Mahfuz Omar (34), Nasrudin Hassan (33), Datuk Iskandar Samad (20) and Datuk Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa (3).
Both Husam and Tuan Ibrahim were also named as nominees for vice-presidency.
To qualify as a candidate in PAS elections, a person needs just two nominations.
The party headquarters, meanwhile, has directed divisions to conclude their meetings by Tuesday, though they are allowed to submit nominations for the central committee positions until April 30. Party polls will be held during its 61st muktamar in Kuala Selangor, from June 3 to 6.
PAS elections director Asmuni Awi has warned party members against dirty campaigning, claiming that the current nomination process has been tarnished by smear campaigns against some leaders.
“I have received a number of controversial campaign materials, some even mailed to my letter box. They all contained personal attacks. They labelled some party leaders as parasites, liberals, orthodox and perosak aqidah (destroyers of beliefs). I don’t recall the last elections being like this. Now, the campaigning seems to have gone overboard,” he said, adding that PAS was looking at tightening certain rules to address the scourge.
It was reported that the “war” between two rival groups, namely the pro-ulama and pro-Pakatan Rakyat groups, was getting more intense. The rivalry first surfaced when Hadi, supported by the ulama group, broke ranks with the party’s central committee on the Selangor Mentri Besar issue last year.