Azmin Ali to defend deputy president’s post

PKR deputy president Azmin Ali is defending his post. (Bernama pic)

PETALING JAYA: Azmin Ali will defend his deputy presidency in the coming PKR polls, pitting him against Rafizi Ramli and ending weeks of speculation that he might contest the top post.

Speaking outside the PKR headquarters, Selangor Menteri Besar Amirudin Shaari confirmed Azmin’s nomination papers had been submitted at 4.45pm, just 15 minutes shy of the 5pm deadline for the party nominations today.

“At 4.45pm, Hilman Iham and I submitted the nomination forms for Azmin to defend his current post of PKR deputy president. Hilman was the proposer, while I seconded the move,” Amirudin confirmed, showing Azmin’s forms.

“This decision was based on discussions from many levels in the party, from our central leadership to the grassroots. For the stability of the party in this new Malaysia, Azmin has decided to defend his old post.”

Azmin, who is the economic affairs minister, was not present today. Amirudin said he was still in Singapore meeting with his counterparts and government officials, but sent his greetings and well-wishers to all that had shown up today.

This ends weeks of speculation over which post Azmin would contest. Some had said Azmin might contest the party presidency and challenge his mentor Anwar Ibrahim, who won the presidency today as there were no challengers.

This comes after a PKR insider told FMT that the party is split into two factions, one loyal to party supremo Anwar and the other to Azmin. Azmin, however, had always been coy on which post he was gunning for, declining to clarify this when queried by the media.

There was also talk of a “rift” in the party, after Rafizi, who is currently PKR vice-president, announced his intention to contest the deputy president’s post, with eight running mates. Rafizi said he was doing so because Anwar needed people who supported him and who were all about the “reformasi” spirit.

At 5.20pm, nominations officially closed. More than 10 contenders will vie for the vice-president’s post. A total of 86 party members will contest for 20 seats on the party’s central leadership council. Three members are gunning for the youth leader’s post, while two are going for the women’s wing head position.

The following is the list of candidates as at 5.20pm:

President
1) Anwar Ibrahim

Deputy president
1) Mohd Rafizi Ramli
2) Mohamad Azmin Ali

Vice-president
1) William Leong
2) Michael Tamil
3) Nurul Izzah Anwar
4) Xavier Jayakumar
5) Tian Chua
6) Johari Abdul
7) Kesavan Subramananiam
8) Prof G Balasubramaniam
9) Aizat Ismail
10) Vasantha Kumar
11) Zuraida Kamarudin
12) Shamsul Iskandar

Youth chief
1) Akmal Nasir
2) Najwan Halimi
3) Dr Afif Bahardin

Youth deputy chief
1) Naqiuddin Nazrin
2) Mohd Hilman Idham
3) Raymond Ahuar

Wanita chief
1) Haniza Talha
2) Fuziah Salleh

Wanita deputy chief
1) Daroyah Alwi
2) Rodziah Ismail

Central leadership council (MPP)
68 nominations