Azmin and his men missing from final day of PKR National Congress

Kenneth Tee And Radzi Razak
Datuk Seri Azmin Ali’s empty seat (beside Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail) on the last day of the 2019 PKR National Congress in Melaka December 8, 2019. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

AYER KEROH, Dec 8 — The PKR National Congress became more roomy this morning as deputy president Datuk Seri Azmin Ali and those from his so-called “cartel” did not arrive for the last day of event that has been marred by infighting and violence.

Aside from Azmin, other notable absentees include vice president Zuraida Kamaruddin, Wanita PKR chief Haniza Talha, and Ali Biju who are also scheduled to address delegates today.

When asked if there was quorum to continue with the congress, a secretariat communication officer said only one-third of the 2,642 delegates was needed.

“We have enough, we only let observers in after we have achieved the required numbers of delegate,” said Ahmad Firdaus Mohd.

The uneasy truce between factions openly aligned with Azmin and PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim crumbled yesterday after the latter began making less-than-subtle attacks on those in the former.

This prompted Azmin’s group to stage a walkout in apparent protest yesterday afternoon and to announce the resumption of a previously abandoned event in Kuala Lumpur to rival the PKR congress this evening.

Delegates walk out from main hall during the 2019 PKR National Congress at MITC in Melaka December 7, 2019. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

Anwar previously said any leaders who attend the rival event would be sacked.

However, Azmin’s group denied it is a rival event and painted it as an “appreciation dinner” for the “Shared Prosperity Vision”.

The “Shared Prosperity Vision” is presented as Bersatu chairman and Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s brainchild.

Yesterday, Azmin accused Anwar of breaching the apparent the truce the two had brokered just a day before the PKR national congress began here.

In a press conference at the AMES Hotel, Azmin said they had agreed their factions were not to attack each during the congress.

He claimed Anwar did not honour this, citing attacks aimed at him and his group during the PKR Youth congress as well as veiled remarks in the party’s president’s speech.

Azmin, who is also the economic affairs minister, said he will present a briefing on Dr Mahathir’s vision during the “appreciation dinner” at the Renaissance Hotel here.

He suggested that he was unlikely to attend today’s event, citing a loss of faith in the rival faction’s sincerity in observing their political ceasefire.

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