KUALA LUMPUR - PAS' central committee (CC) has openly snubbed party president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang's decision to reject Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail for the Selangor mentri besar post.
In a move seen as undermining Hadi's authority, the committee resolved to reject the post if the Sultan of Selangor picked a candidate from PAS.
The stunning decision was announced by deputy president Mohamad Sabu who had chaired the five-hour meeting in the absence of Hadi who is attending the International Union for Muslim Scholars' event in Indonesia in his capacity as its vice-president. The council's president is Sheikh Prof Dr Yusof al Qardhawi.
"We will reject," Mohamad told a media conference in no uncertain terms.
However, PAS secretary-general Datuk Mustafa Ali, who was also at the conference, said the party had only decided to maintain that PKR had the prerogative to name the mentri besar.
"In the end, it is the Sultan who has the final say on this," he said, adding that the Sultan's decision should not be pre-empted.
Asked if he agreed with Mohamad that PAS should reject the post if appointed, Mustafa said: "I did not say that. I just said the post belongs to PKR".
Among those who attended the meeting were vice-presidents Datuk Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man, Datuk Husam Musa and PAS Youth chief Suhaizan Kaiyat.
In another dramatic development, PAS' Syura council which also met yesterday, reminded central committee members that they had to abide by the president's order as stipulated under Article 26(9)(m) of the party's constitution.
"The president has the final say on all matters of interest to the party," it said.
The council's deputy chief Haron Din said the central committee had no power to override Hadi's decision.
"The president has the discretionary powers to nominate candidates and the final decision lies with Sultan of Selangor."
PAS vice-president Salahuddin Ayub said the party would leave the decision on who should replace Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim to the Sultan of Selangor.
Asked if the party should accept the central committee's decision or the Syura Council's orders to abide by party president, Salahuddin said he would stick by what the CC had decided.
"As far as I am concerned, the party's decision stands," he said, refusing to comment further.
On Friday, Hadi ignored the central committee's earlier decision to nominate only two PKR candidates for the post and submitted the names of three assemblymen as candidates to take over from Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim.
Describing Dr Wan Azizah as "weak and unqualified" to lead a state as important as Selangor, he said was it within his powers to nominate candidates for the post under the party's constitution.
Hadi also pointed out even the former Kelantan Mentri Besar Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat was nominated by then president Fadzil Noor without consultations with the central committee.
Meanwhile DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng was quoted by Bernama as saying that he did not want to meddle in PAS' internal affairs and urged Hadi to give Dr Wan Azizah a chance, while other leaders were unrestrained in firing their rockets at the PAS leader and questioning his calibre.
Selangor DAP chief and party publicity secretary Tony Pua said it was ironic for Hadi to question Dr Wan Azizah's capabilities after PAS lost two states - Terengganu and Kedah - under his watch.
"Hadi is the man who lost Terengganu overwhelmingly after becoming menteri besar for just one term and was the man who refused to replace the Kedah menteri besar even after the latter was bedridden for months in hospital," he was quoted by a news portal.
Selangor DAP vice-chairman Teng Chang Khim said Hadi's track record was dismal as shown by PAS losing power in Terengganu and Kedah under his leadership.
"That is the record of his capability," he was quoted by the portal.