PKR, DAP national leadership to resolve impasse over Sarawak 'hot seats'

  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 01 Sep 2020

MIRI: The national leadership of PKR and DAP will mediate over the impasse involving numerous "hot seats" in the upcoming 12th state elections.

The two Pakatan Harapan parties have not been seeing eye to eye as they eye the h ot seats of Batu Lintang in Kuching and Piasau, Senadin and Pujut in Miri.

Sarawak PKR vice-chairman Dr Teo Yu Keng on Tuesday (Sept 1) said the matter had been brought to the attention of central leaders.

"The decision on which party will contest these hot seats in the coming state elections will be made by the Pakatan national leadership.

"Due to an impasse, we have decided to let Kuala Lumpur deliberate and make a decision. We do not want to quarrel with state DAP over this matter, and I'm sure their leaders also want it to be settled amicably.

"So the best solution is to let the national leaders meet and decide," he said.

Dr Teo confirmed speculations that state leaders could not reach an agreement as to which party had a better chance of winning these seats.

The deadlock in negotiations for these seats have been going on for several months. Both parties claimed they had "winnable" candidates.

It has been learnt that the state leaders are trying to finalise the seat distribution as soon as possible as a snap state election may be held in the first two weeks of November.

Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg has also told Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) component parties to get ready in November.

Sources in GPS said Abang Johari had spoken to the Elections Commission on this but no date has been fixed yet for the dissolution of the state assembly.

The current state assembly term will end in June next year.

Political observers said uncertainties in the national political front was a good opportunity for Abang Johari and GPS to call for snap polls.

There are 82 state constituencies and 31 parliamentary seats in Sarawak. GPS controls 68 seats while Sarawak DAP has seven.

However, DAP Pujut assemblyman Dr Ting Tiong Choon was disqualified by the Federal Court over the issue of citizenship and the seat has been left vacant. Another DAP assemblyman, Wong King Wei of Padungan, left the party to become an independent.

Sarawak PKR had three seats but two of the assemblymen left to join Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB), an independent political grouping.

Following this, PSB have six seats now from four previously.

Their third PKR assemblyman also quit to join Sarawak Bersatu and became the party's sole representative.

GPS component parties are made up of Parti Pesaka Bumiputra Bersatu, Parti Rakyat Sarawak, Progressive Democratic Party and Sarawak United Peoples Party.

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