As chaotic PKR election finally wraps up, Azmin’s future hangs by a thread

Datuk Seri Azmin Ali (right) and Rafizi Ramli at PKR headquarters in Petaling Jaya on September 21, 2018. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Datuk Seri Azmin Ali (right) and Rafizi Ramli at PKR headquarters in Petaling Jaya on September 21, 2018. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 9 — Datuk Seri Azmin Ali will know whether he will still be the deputy president of PKR or just an ordinary member by Sunday when three divisions in Sabah and all the divisions in Sarawak complete their voting.

He is up against all odds to keep his post as his contender Rafizi Ramli, who is the former party vice-president, is on an aggressive onslaught to unseat him, no matter what the cost.

It is as though the whole party leadership is ganging up against him, perhaps as a form of payback to the time when Azmin secured the Selangor mentri besar post, which was supposed to have been given to outgoing party president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.

Added to the growing list of attacks against the incumbent PKR deputy president is his perceived close ties to Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Some PKR members are still wary of Dr Mahathir, despite the fact that he has repeatedly promised that Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is the prime minister in-waiting.

Azmin’s appointment as minister of economic affairs, a post created by Dr Mahathir, has set tongues wagging and speculation is that the former is being groomed to be the next PM instead of Anwar.

PKR’s election has been a right mess. No one has raised alarm bells over the many problems faced during the e-voting process — complaints from members, reports of irregularities lodged with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) as well as the most visible where even dead people were supposedly registered as members and eligible to vote.

Even results of other states that had conducted and completed the e-voting are suspicious as the lead or majority for either Azmin or Rafizi was only by few hundred voters.

But the odds look to be stacked against Azmin, at least right now.

While other PKR leaders aligned to him look to be winning the party’s Youth and Wanita wings, he is still struggling to maintain a convincing lead, as Rafizi inches closer and closer to unseating him as deputy president.

Whether Azmin makes it or not in defending his deputy presidency is one big question. It is understood that he will most likely have to give up his Cabinet post should he lose.

Another question is that where does Azmin go should he lose? What of his political future? Should he join PPBM? And will he go quietly? Will his supporters within PKR accept a defeat?

We’ll find out once the election ends this Sunday. After all, anything can happen in politics.