SHAH ALAM: PKR Youth today made it clear that jailed former opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim is still their choice for prime minister, ahead of Pakatan Harapan leaders such as Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Muhyiddin Yassin.
The wing’s chief Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad argued that Anwar’s achievements during his stint as the finance minister from 1991 to 1998 was among the factors why they were backing the former deputy prime minister for the post.
Mahathir and Muhyiddin are PPBM’s chairman and president, respectively.
Nik Nazmi said Anwar had also successfully introduced a moderate brand of Islam and is a renowned leader both locally and in the international arena.
“We want to propose to the party and PH that Anwar be named as a candidate for the prime ministership for the next general election (GE14),” he said when opening the PKR Youth congress here this morning.
Anwar is currently serving a five-year sentence for sodomising his former aide and is due for release in 2020. The country’s laws meanwhile, prevent him from contesting in an election or holding a political position for five years after his release.
Anwar was deputy prime minister and heir apparent to Mahathir in the 1990s, until he was unceremoniously kicked out of the government and Umno following allegations of corruption and sexual misconduct.
PKR Youth’s push for Anwar to be named as the prime minister comes a week after former Umno politician Zaid Ibrahim threw his support behind Mahathir as the prime minister designate.
This, he said, is necessary, because Barisan Nasional (BN) is now stronger than ever, especially with PAS throwing their weight behind Umno.
In March, DAP’s Anthony Loke said that PKR president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail would be named as prime minister should the opposition coalition win the next general election.
Mahathir – who now serves as a special adviser to PH’s pro-tem committee, along with Wan Azizah – however, said that the opposition will collectively decide on who becomes the next prime minister should they wrest Putrajaya from the ruling coalition.
Last year, the former prime minister called for Muhyiddin to be PM if the opposition won the next general election, and in January, Mahathir said he would not consider returning as PM if the opposition wins.