KUALA LUMPUR, Apr 12 — Rafizi Ramli has today urged his party to keep the upcoming PKR internal election clean, ahead of his own bid for deputy presidency.

In a statement, the former Pandan MP said each member should be allowed to choose a leader based on their own assessment of the candidate’s performance and not be influenced by “warlords”.

“It is my hope, starting with this election, that every member of PKR elects leaders based on personal evaluation according to one’s performance and stance. 

“Through an online voting system using the application, the power to elect a leader is returned to each regular member and further reduces the influence of ‘warlords’ in the party.

“I invite as many PKR members who have not registered as online voters to do so immediately before the closing date on April 21, 2022,” he said.

Rafizi said prior to this, candidates at the central level had to bargain with public figures so that they could mobilise their followers to support a particular candidate.

Therefore, in order to make it easier for every member of PKR to make a decision, he called on all candidates contesting this time to explain their stand on two important issues.

Firstly, the direction of the party for the next year to three years, especially regarding election entry strategies; and secondly the form and contribution of each candidate’s work that could boost PKR’s winning opportunities in the next election.

“The election this time around should not be tainted with emotions, personal attacks or campaigns which are based on ‘revelation’. 

“I am aware there are candidates who are spreading their so-called ‘be the choice of the party president’ and giving the impression that if you don’t vote for them, it is not loyal to the ‘presidential institution’.

“Such campaigns should be stopped immediately. The right to elect a leader is an individual right to each member,” he said. 

He further stressed that the achievement of a candidate should be based solely on his record of standing in line with the party’s struggle, as well as the candidate’s ability to mobilise campaigns and actions to boost the party’s position in the eyes of the people.

Rafizi also said the party must return to trusting voters, rather than attempt any shortcut to power either through cooperation politics, negotiations or new ranks, under any name such as “big tent” with any party that can tarnish PKR’s idealism.

Rafizi will face secretary-general Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail for the number two post, while Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is the sole nominee for the post of president.

Meanwhile, 17 candidates have thrown their hats in the ring for the four vice-president posts, with Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari and Negri Sembilan Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Aminuddin Harun leading the list.