Selangor MB has the upper hand now

Selangor MB has the upper hand now
In the spotlight: Khalid's car leaving Istana Alam Shah after the Royal Council meeting in Klang.

PETALING JAYA - Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim's days at the helm of Selangor looks to be numbered but all indications show that he will remain mentri besar until November when the State Legislative Assembly is due to sit.

Until then, there is little that Pakatan Rakyat can do to dislodge Khalid from his post.

This is because under the Selangor Constitution, only the mentri besar can advise the Sultan to summon a special sitting of the assembly to move a resolution of no confidence against him.

Pakatan Rakyat assemblymen who want to move such a motion can only do it when the assembly is in session. However, Khalid, who was sacked by PKR on Saturday, is clearly not moving in that direction.

Looking calm and composed during a jam-packed press conference yesterday, he said he had informed the Sultan that he was not resigning.

Khalid said he would stay on as an independent mentri besar and claimed that he still commanded the majority in the House.

He also indicated that the state Executive Council could still run the government because he had a quorum of five including himself and the four PAS Exco members

The Sultan, who is believed to have consulted three different legal authorities on the crisis, has given him the royal green light to continue pending "further developments".

Constitutional expert and The Star columnist Prof Emeritus Dr Shad Saleem Faruqi stated that under Article 70 of the Selangor Constitution, six months could lapse between one session of the assembly and the next and Khalid can frustrate the PKR by not advising an early summoning of the assembly.

Dr Shad had also noted that the power to advise the Sultan to call for a sitting of the assembly belonged to the mentri besar and not the speaker or the PKR leadership.

The highly anticipated no-confidence vote in November means that the Budget session will turn into a highly political sitting to remove Khalid, who has often been described as a cat with nine lives.

Palace sources confirmed receiving a letter from PKR adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim on Sunday. It is learnt that the letter was a request for an audience for Anwar's wife and PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail to explain PKR's sacking of Khalid. To date his request has yet to be granted.

It is also learnt that Anwar flew to Terengganu yesterday for an urgent meeting with PAS president Datuk Seri Hadi Awang on the mentri besar crisis.

The Terengganu meeting was seen as a breakthrough because Hadi has refused to meet either Anwar or Dr Wan Azizah over the past month.

However, PAS sources said the one-hour meeting held in a local hotel failed to change PAS' stand on issue. The party is expected to pursue its plan to nominate a second name for the top post.

Anwar who is determined to make his wife the next mentri besar of Selangor has so far been unable to convince PAS to support her.

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