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Mustaffa denies friction in PKR seat bid

 | May 9, 2012

The former veep says that he was working with Azmin in the run-up to the general election.

KUALA LUMPUR: A PKR leader implicated in an alleged friction over his candidacy for the upcoming national polls denied any claims of infighting and said he had never expressed intentions to contest as yet.

Mustaffa Kamil Ayub, who was defeated in the party’s deputy presidency face-off and is said to lead a faction, told FMT that suggestions that he was picked by de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim to contest for the Pasir Salak parliamentary seat isn’t true.

“No it’s not true. There is no friction. I’m yet to decide which seat I am going to contest in and I leave it to the party’s top leadership to decide on the matter,” Mustaffa said.

A FMT report yesterday quoted PKR sources as saying the move had stirred problems in the party’s Pasir Salak division and soured relations with its chairman, Osman Abdul Rahman, a known Azmin Ali supporter.

Azmin is the current PKR deputy president. Known as the “blue-eyed boy” of the party’s supreme leader, the two are said to form the biggest faction in a party allegedly split by a constant struggle for what had been described as ideological dominance.

Mustaffa is also a known close-associate of Anwar. Both had formed a close relation since their student activism days as the former members of the radical Malaysian Muslim Youth Movement (Abim) which is said to form the majority of the “Anwarista” faction in PKR.

Azmin and Mustaffa’s friendship were said to have strained following the No2 contest at the party’s maiden direct election in 2010 but the latter dismissed the idea and said he had been working hard with the party’s deputy president in preparing PKR for national polls.

Fraction remain

“Yes we contested in the party elections but we are a democratic party…we continue to work together for the party especially in the run-up to the elections”.

Party insiders speaking to FMT confirmed that the two are now working closely for the elections but admitted that tension was high when the fight for the deputy presidency kicked off what had subsequently been a fractious party polls.

Observers say PKR had never really recovered from the infighting which exposed the Pakatan Rakyat lynchpin to attacks from the ruling coalition who pointed to PKR’s internal division as signs of weaknesses and inability to lead the country.

Anwar had denied the allegation and said his PKR “had rose from the ashes” and is now “more united than ever” although analysts say the reason behind this new found unity has more to do with the consolidation of the Anwar-Azmin “cartel” and the weeding out of opposition.

Mustaffa, who is also a former vice-president of the party, said the source who spoke to FMT could be seeking to create the impression that he and Azmin are engaged in a prolonged war for their own exploits.

“Perhaps there are people who want to see an estranged relationship between me and Azmin,” he said given that national polls, which is expected to be held soon, is near.

Azmin is also the party’s new elections director. His appointment was seen as a way to ensure only hardcore “Anwaristas” make it as candidates for the national elections. This could trigger fresh infighting as factions vie for seal allocations.


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