KUALA LUMPUR – August 3, 2018: It may have not been a big deal previously but the next PKR elections, scheduled for later this month, will probably be the most significant party polls after the 14th general elections.
This is because PKR is now part of the ruling Pakatan Harapan coalition with the biggest number of parliamentarians.
In the May 9 GE, PKR, DAP, Pribumi Bersatu and Amanah won 48, 42, 12 and 11 parliamentary seats respectively. However, PKR’s seats have since increased to 50 after two independents joined the party.
“Whoever wins will become the president of the largest party in Pakatan. That person will also be the next prime minister,” said Dr. Chandra Muzaffar, adding that it is almost certain that Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, who announced his candidacy on July 15, will win the post currently held by his wife Datuk Seri Dr. Wan Azizah Wan Ismail .
“The agreement between Mahathir (Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad) and Anwar before Pakatan came to power was that Anwar will succeed him.
“If that happens, which is quite likely, course Anwar’s position as PKR president is important,” said Chandra, who was a deputy president of Keadilan, which was what PKR was known from 1999 to 2003.
The battle for PKR’s deputy president, currently held by Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Azmin Ali, is also must-watch, said Chandra.
While Azmin has yet to announce if he will be defending his post, talk is rife that the tussle for the number two spot will likely be between him and vice-president Rafizi Ramli.
“If Rafizi wins, there may be some shift to the thrust of the party because he has openly said that he is going to focus in making Anwar the next PM,” Chandra said.
While Chandra anticipates that Azmin will only suffer minor dents to his political career should he lose, another analyst Dr. Azmi Hassan thinks otherwise.
“Rafizi has got nothing to lose if he loses but the post will determine Azmin’s political future, not only in PKR but also in the federal government.
“I believe Azmin’s portfolio is by virtue of his standing in PKR. It will be difficult for Azmin to retain his ministerial posts if he loses to Rafizi,” said Azmi.