KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 5 — Rafizi Ramli has reportedly said he plans to contest in the Pandan seat that he previously held, replacing Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, who won it in 2018.
The newly-appointed PKR deputy president also said Pakatan Harapan (PH) will finalise its list of candidates, along with its manifesto for the 15th general election (GE15) by the end of next month.
"Of course we have to go through the party process eventually who should contest where, given the circumstances and what’s best for the party.
"Logically, my political foray began in Pandan and I think the support and grassroots base there is very strong. For the time being, it is safe to say I should be able to contest in Pandan,” Rafizi was quoted saying by The Malaysian Insight.
Rafizi served as Pandan MP from 2013 to 2018, after beating MCA's Lim Chin Yee by a majority of 26,729 votes.
In 2018, then PKR president Dr Wan Azizah took over the seat and won by a bigger majority of 52,543 votes against MCA's Leong Kok Wee.
Rafizi said PKR plans to contest about 80 seats, with PH's former component Bersatu's 52 seats to be divided within the pact and its allies.
"We have the incumbents and those who are working in areas we did not win, and we have potential candidates and a new set of people we will consider. For PKR, by the end of August, the framework and process for candidate selection will be finalised.
"It is not so much of a choice, but the timeframe imposed. If we have not settled the candidates by September, we will be in trouble,” said Rafizi, in reference to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri's recent remark that GE15 is close.
Speaking of the PH manifesto, he said that the committee will be convened very soon and PKR divisions have appointed specific people to work on it.
"It is definitely on the move and if we are preparing for an October general election, the manifesto has to be finalised and approved by end of September. The first draft will be given to PH within the first two weeks of September,” Rafizi reportedly said.
Rafizi also stressed his faith in PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as the best prime minister candidate for PH, as he is currently the most prominent figure in the coalition.
"There is no question from PH or PKR that the candidate for prime minister this time is Anwar.
"We have gone through the arguments that Anwar should be replaced, but we still haven’t got a figure from PH who can garner huge support from the people,” said the former Pandan MP.
Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is currently the Opposition Leader, and was previously slated to succeed Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad as prime minister before the PH administration fell.