Bewilderment over Harapan’s PM candidate announcement

There appears to be confusion on whether Pakatan Harapan will announce its candidate for the prime minister and deputy prime minister’s posts during the coalition’s national convention over the weekend.

This is due to Harapan chairperson Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s conflicting responses to questions on the issue during a press conference last night after the Harapan presidential council meeting.

Quizzed repeatedly, Mahathir appeared to suggest that the announcement would be made at the convention and then later, said the announcement would be made after the event.

This led to conflicting media reports on the issue.

Below is the transcript of the questions posed and Mahathir’s answers during the press conference:

Reporter: You mentioned yesterday that we will know who will be the PM candidate for the next GE, have you come to that decision yet?

Mahathir: You will hear about it after the convention.

Reporter: Any obstacles? Because it was reported before that Harapan will probably announce the candidates which are Tun (Mahathir) and (PKR president Dr Wan) Azizah (Wan Ismail) during the convention. What is stopping that from happening?

Mahathir: Today is not the time for us to announce. We made a decision to embellish the importance of the convention, we will make all the announcements regarding our future plans at the end of the convention. So please come.

Reporter: Was there a decision today (at the presidential council meeting) on the PM candidate?

Mahathir: At the convention. We have said that again and again that we will announce all these things at the convention.

Reporter: So there was no discussion on the PM candidate today?

Mahathir: I will inform at the convention if we discussed or did not discuss or if we just smiled at each other.

Reporter: Anwar (Ibrahim) allegedly said that he is not going to support you?

Mahathir: You can use that as one of the rumours that you heard, but the truth will be known at the end of the convention.

Reporter: What are the pros and cons of announcing the PM candidate before or after the election?

Mahathir: We cannot announce it after the election, then it will be too late. It must be before the election.

Reporter: So is it (the announcement) somewhere after the convention?

Mahathir: Must be between the convention and the election lah.

Following this, Malaysiakini checked with sources who have knowledge of what transpired at the meeting and was informed that the announcement would most likely be made at the convention.

The press statement issued after the meeting also stated that “important announcements” would be made at the convention.

Previously, Malaysiakini reported that Harapan is slated to announce Mahathir and Wan Azizah for the top two posts at the convention.

However, sources told Malaysiakini that PKR wanted Mahathir to be named as an “interim prime minister” but the other three component parties disagreed with this.

The concern is that the term “interim” would not inspire confidence and give the impression that Harapan would not be able to form a stable government if it wins federal power.

Mahathir, when commenting on this issue, indicated that his age rendered such a debate pointless as he would not hold onto the post until he turns 100.

Wan Azizah and PKR deputy president Azmin Ali were not present at yesterday’s press conference. The party was represented by vice-president Xavier Jayakumar and Saifuddin Abdullah, who is also Chief Secretary of the Pakatan Harapan secretariat.

Others present included DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng, Bersatu president Muhyiddin Yassin and Amanah Mohamad Sabu.

Prior to the presidential council meeting, Anwar, who is serving a five-year prison sentence, reminded Harapan parties of the importance of consensus and that their strength lies in upholding the people’s voice.

Meanwhile, Utusan Malaysia claimed that the Pakatan Harapan presidential council had failed to reach an agreement on the “interim prime minister” issue.


Artikel disiar pada January 5, 2018 - 3:45 pm oleh Susan Loo

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