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JOHOR BARU, Oct 1 — The hotly contested race for the PKR second-in-command continued to favour its incumbent deputy president Datuk Seri Azmin Ali over his closest rival Rafizi Ramli in Johor.
The unofficial vote-tally that came in just before midnight yesterday showed the economic affairs minister leading by a 527-vote majority.
Azmin scored a total of 4,503 votes, while former Pandan MP Rafizi received 3,976 votes in the party election held in all of PKR’s 24 eligible divisions statewide.
Johor is supposed to have a total of 26 PKR divisions following the parliamentary constituencies, but two in Tanjung Piai and Mersing were not eligible due to membership issues.
Earlier, Johor PKR deputy chief Jimmy Puah Wee Tse won the party’s Pulai division by beating incumbent A. Sivagami Devi with only 33 votes for the division chief post.
Puah, who is also Johor International Trade, Investment and Utilities Committee chairman and Bukit Batu assemblyman, garnered a total of 193 votes while Sivagami received 160 votes.
In his Facebook posting, Puah thanked his team and described winning the division chief post as a sweet victory in Pulai where he would continue to fight for justice.
For the party’s multi-cornered Gelang Patah division chief contest, S. Yugeswaran won the tight race.
He beat his closest rival, incumbent MS Murugan who only garnered a total of 100 votes. Yugeswaran win with a difference of 62 votes.
For the Johor Baru division, its MP Akmal Nasrullah Nasir, who is also in a three cornered fight for the party’s national Youth Chief post, easily won the post of division chief.
Akmal received 220 votes and defeated Richard Tan Wun Chyau, who got 121 votes, with a difference of 101 votes.
PKR central election committee (JPP) chairman Datuk Rashid Din said he was satisfied with the process in Johor that did not see any ruckus among the party’s divisions.
“The entire process for Johor went smoothly without any serious incidents.
“There were a few divisions that reported minor commotion, but the JPP personnel with the assistance of the police managed to control the situation before going out of hand,” he said when contacted by Malay Mail.
The Johor PKR party election was the first to use the new electronic-voting (e-voting) system, which began at 10am and closed at 5pm.
Rashid said the e-voting process was also conducted well.
Johor police chief Datuk Mohd Khalil Kader Mohd said he was satisfied with the smooth conduct of the PKR polls.
“The entire election process took off and ended without any serious incident,” he said.
Mohd Khalil lauded the professionalism and maturity shown by the Johor PKR members.
The Johor PKR poll is considered a major milestone for the party in the southern state that has been considered the birthplace and fortress for Umno, the lynchpin party for the Barisan Nasional coalition that ruled for over 60 years until its May 9 defeat by Pakatan Harapan.