KUALA LUMPUR – March 1, 2017: Pribumi Bersatu has denied that it was not represented at yesterday’s meeting with Pakatan Harapan on election seat distribution because it was not ready for it.
In a statement today Pribumi Bersatu deputy president Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir instead said this was because the party wanted all sides to first outline the basic principles on seat allocation before bringing the matter to the joint technical committee.
He added that Pribumi Bersatu had completed a comprehensive study on the allocation based on data from previous elections and current sentiments analysis.
“The PH secretariat is making the arrangements to hold another meeting with us,” said Mukhriz.
He dismissed speculations that Pribumi Bersatu had delayed its participation at the meeting because it is still in talks with PAS for a possible electoral cooperation.
The three-hour meeting at Parti Amanah Negara was originally intended for PH and Pribumi Bersatu to list out the seats they wanted to contest in the next general election. It was chaired by PKR secretary-general Datuk Saifuddin Nasution.
Pribumi Bersatu was supposed to be represented by Mukhriz and vice-president Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman.
Saifuddin told reporters after the meeting that PH had yet to finalise the allocation because Pribumi Bersatu was not represented.
But geostrategist Azmi Hassan thinks that the problem was more due to Pribumi Bersatu’s lack of experience in preparing for a general election.
“This track records is critical in determining the seat allocation…. their reputation (in relation to a general election) is next to null,” he said.
He further thinks that the party may have asked the others to treat it as an equal partner.
“But I don’t think this principle is agreeable to the other PH coalition partners.”