BY MD IZWAN
PUTRAJAYA, May 25 — Datuk Seri Najib Razak appeared tonight to label his arch-rival Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim unprincipled for allegedly failing to keep his end of an agreement to accept the results of Election 2013 without contest.
The second-term prime minister told a crowd of over a thousand people at the Putrajaya Youth Festival 2013 here that the opposition leader had reneged on the pact because the results of the polls had not been in his favour.
“He reneged on a promise,” he said in his speech.“This is not our way, we must have principles... in any matter, we must have principles, follow the rules,” he said.
Earlier today, the Wall Street Journal reported former Indonesian Jusuf Kalla accusing Anwar of breaking a peace deal brokered between the opposition leader and Najib in April, a month before the May 5 polls.
The renowned international business paper featured interviews with all three parties confirming the secret peace deal, and quoted Jusuf as claiming that he had phoned Anwar a day after the May 5 polls and urged the opposition leader to respect the commitment and “look at reality”.
“We had a commitment,” Jusuf was quoted as saying. “But they said, ‘No, no, no, no.’ ‘‘
But Anwar appeared to indicate today that Jusuf had not actually accused him of breaking the agreement.
“I’ve also sought clarification although from what I’ve got. Jusuf Kalla did not say that. He was trying to make sure the full context was well understood.”
Anwar also said that he had publicly spoken on the issues of ethics in campaigning, free and fair elections, and the peaceful transition of power, saying: “To me, there’s nothing secret about the deal.”
He instead accused Barisan Nasional (BN) of breaching several agreed points in the April agreement brokered by Jusuf.
The Pakatan Rakyat (PR) de facto chief argued that to honour the deal, which stipulated that both sides accept the outcome of Election 2013 regardless which way it swung, there were several key pre-requisites that had to be fulfilled first.
“There were some parameters agreed upon. Number one, ethics in terms of campaigning and conduct of affairs of government so the media in particular is not used to demonise the opposition...this did not happen...”
“Second condition of free and fair elections which means access to media, some of the Bersih’s demands, which was not met,” the PKR de-facto leader told reporters today at the end of the party’s ninth national congress, claiming that electoral fraud has been proven.
“And third, was contingent upon those conditions, our position is that we accept the decision,” the former deputy prime minister added.
In its report, the WSJ had also written that it was Anwar who approached Jusuf on the agreement two months ago, seeking the latter’s help in securing his opponent’s commitment for a peaceful election outcome.
The deal — that both sides refrain from personal attacks during campaigns and to accept the outcome of the polls — was subsequently made in April.
An adviser to Najib reportedly confirmed the deal, telling the WSJ that Anwar had sought Jusuf’s assistance to secure a mutual agreement to accept the results of the polls peacefully, regardless which way it goes and even in the event of a slim majority.
“The prime minister reiterated privately to Jusuf Kalla and in public before the election that BN would respect the will of the people and accept the election results, even if the opposition wins,” the paper quoted the aide as saying.
In the May 5 polls, Najib and the ruling BN was returned to power in Putrajaya after a heated contest that saw Anwar’s. PR win the popular vote but lose the polls.
A dissatisfied Anwar and PR have been staging mammoth rallies across the country since the close of the election, insisting that the election had been stolen from them through fraud and widespread cheating.
During one of his rally speeches, Anwar vowed never to surrender until PR claims its rightful place at the helm of Putrajaya.
The 65-year-old Anwar also appears to have put his plans for retirement on hold, and seems determined to fight on.
One of PR’s point of contention is the popular vote, which saw BN scoring just under 48 per cent of the total number of votes cast and PR scoring the majority at 51 per cent.
But the uneven dispersal of votes across various constituencies, which PR has labelled gerrymandering by the BN, had cost them the election as it only snapped up 89 seats to BN’s 133 seats in the 222-seat Parliament despite winning the popular vote.
Apart from the “Black 505” rallies, which have drawn mammoth turnouts all around, PR is also filing formal petitions against the results in 27 constituencies.