Pakatan backs Wan Azizah

Pakatan backs Wan Azizah
Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, president of Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), a Malaysian opposition party and assemblyman for Kajang.

PETALING JAYA - Pakatan Rakyat will nominate PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail as its sole candidate for the Selangor Mentri Besar job - thanks to her deputy, Azmin Ali.

The decision to name her was made after Pakatan Rakyat leadership council endorsed the nomination of two candidates - Dr Wan Azizah and Azmin - as proposed by PAS but Azmin declined to be the second nominee in line with his party's stand.

PKR adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, who announced this after a leadership council meeting yesterday said Pakatan would write to the palace to inform Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah of the decision.

He expressed appreciation to PAS for deciding to stick with Pakatan and for agreeing to replace Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim who was sacked from PKR.

"The council also takes note and appreciates the nominations of Dr Wan Azizah and Azmin for the Mentri Besar position.

"However, Azmin has stressed that he supports PKR's decision to name Dr Wan Azizah as the sole candidate for the post," said Anwar.

Notably absent during the press conference was PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang who had earlier attended the meeting that lasted for about 40 minutes.

Azmin thanked Abdul Hadi and PAS for nominating him as the second candidate.

"However as PKR deputy president I will adhere to my party's decision to nominate Dr Wan Azizah, which is in line with statutory declarations that have been presented to the palace," said Azmin.

PAS deputy president Mohamad Sabu said with Azmin's clear stand on the matter, Pakatan would now find the best way to convey the decision to the Selangor Sultan.

During the press conference Anwar read out a prepared statement, followed by remarks by Azmin and Mohamad.

Anwar ended the press conference abruptly by saying it was time for maghrib prayers.

According to a PKR source, Hadi had wanted PKR, DAP and PAS to write to the Sultan separately and propose both Dr Wan Azizah's and Azmin's names.

PKR and DAP however, wanted to submit Dr Wan Azizah's name and only propose Azmin's name in the event the Sultan rejected the nomination, adding that this was a sticking point during the meeting.

When met later, Azmin said he gave way because his party came first.

"We must all work to save Pakatan in Selangor," he said.

Asked if he would be considered as an alternative candidate if the Sultan rejected Dr Wan Azizah's candidacy, Azmin said he did not want to speculate on the matter.

He said all three Pakatan leaders would write to the palace to inform the Sultan of the latest development.

Anwar said he was confident Azmin was committed to the party's decision.

Asked if all parties in Pakatan Rakyat accepted the decision, he said: "Pakatan's position now is that we only submit Dr Wan Azizah's name".

Earlier yesterday, PAS' central committee had named Azmin as possible replacement for Khalid.

"We decided on Azmin because we wanted two names and this is appropriate as he is PKR deputy president," PAS secretary-general Datuk Mustafa Ali Mustafa told the media.

He said PAS had also accepted PKR's nomination for Dr Wan Azizah. PAS ulama and Syura councils had earlier refused to accept Dr Wan Azizah and backed Khalid to continue serving as Mentri Besar.

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