Azmin offers his Gombak seat for Mahathir to contest


PETALING JAYA: Selangor Menteri Besar Mohamed Azmin Ali is ready to give up his Gombak parliamentary seat which he has held for two terms, to allow PPBM chairman Dr Mahathir Mohamad to contest there for Pakatan Harapan (PH) in the 14th general election (GE14).

“I am prepared to give way to Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in Gombak if that it is agreeable to PKR.

“Let us build consensus for the people,” the PKR deputy president said on his Twitter account today.

The constituency in Selangor is among the opposition-held seats where PAS and Barisan Nasional (BN) enjoy sizeable support.

Two of the three state seats within its margins were won by PAS over the last two terms.

In the general election of March 2008, Azmin defeated BN’s Said Anuar Said Ahmad by a margin of 6,867 votes. In the next election in May 2013, he shook off a challenge from BN’s Raman Ismail to retain it with a majority of 4,734 votes.

PKR was then an ally of PAS under the now defunct Pakatan Rakyat pact.

PAS and BN are almost equally influential in the Gombak Setia and Hulu Kelang state seats.

PAS’ Hasbullah Mohd Ridzwan successfully kept Gombak Setia by a margin of 1,681 votes in the last election, while its candidate Saari Sungib retained the Hulu Klang seat by 2,811 votes.

Saari has since quit PAS and joined its splinter party, Amanah, which is a component of PH, together with PKR, DAP and PPBM.

Meanwhile, PKR’s Amirudin Shari maintained his hold on the Batu Caves state seat with a majority of 3,261 votes in 2013.

The fate of PH candidates within Gombak came into question after PAS terminated its political cooperation with PKR in April last year.

If the conflict between PAS and PH continues till GE14, which is due by August, all four seats in Gombak might see three-cornered fights between PAS, PH and BN, with BN likely to benefit from the split votes.

On Jan 7, PH had announced its seat allocation agreement for Peninsular Malaysia, with PPBM assigned 52 seats, PKR 51 seats, DAP 35 and Amanah 27.

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