Solo or ‘big tent’ for GE15? It is for the party to decide, says PKR sec-gen

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Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) secretary -general Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail speaking at a press conference at a hotel in Johor Baru, April 22, 2022. — Bernama pic
Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) secretary -general Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail speaking at a press conference at a hotel in Johor Baru, April 22, 2022. — Bernama pic

PETALING JAYA, May 7 — The decision on whether PKR goes solo or with the “big tent” strategy for the 15th general election (GE15) rests with the party, and not any one individual, said incumbent secretary-general Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail.

He added the issue had never come up during any meetings involving PKR’s Central Leadership Council (MPP).

“Solo or big tent? Not for us to decide. It is the decision of the party when the time comes,” he said during his speech for the launch of the #KitaSemuaKeadilan concept today.

Saifuddin, who is running for the post of PKR deputy president against former Pandan MP Rafizi Ramli in the party’s internal elections, also blasted his opponent over the matter after he called for PKR members to choose between “discussing” it and opting for “war”.

“Stop confusing the members. The party will decide during meetings or even at the congress,” he said.

Meanwhile, PKR vice-presidential candidate, Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari, said the party should be a “team player” and cooperate with its Pakatan Harapan component partners Selangor DAP and Selangor Amanah to formulate a strategy to ensure victory in GE15.

“Even so, we cannot take it easy and be complacent. Therefore, I am here to announce that we will set up the Pakatan Harapan Selangor Manifesto Committee, which will comprise representatives from Selangor PKR, Selangor DAP and Selangor Amanah so that together we can frame the best manifesto for the people of Selangor.

“I will also officiate the PKR election machinery at the branch level after the completion of this election in preparation for GE15,” he said.

Last month, Rafizi announced his return to politics in a bid to “save” PKR following the party’s dismal showing in the last three state elections.

He and Saifuddin will compete for the vacant post of PKR deputy president at the party’s annual congress in June.

Party insiders have indicated there is a growing rift between the men, as both take pot-shots at each other in the press.

Rafizi said he previously made way for Saifuddin to be PKR secretary-general, adding that he is known as a fighter while Saifuddin is known as a negotiator.

Saifuddin, who rejected this description, said he was prepared to go to war for the party if needed, but preferred diplomacy wherever possible as he was a “team player”.

Despite the head-on contest, Saifuddin insisted there was no hostility with Rafizi, who he said has been a friend and “brother” since the latter’s student days in the United Kingdom.

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