Incumbent PKR deputy president Azmin Ali said he is not interested in forming a pact to ensure his victory in the party’s polls in May as he is above factionalism.
“There are concerns about forming this kind of alliance, that is why I don’t believe in it. I am above factionalism, I don’t believe in factions and forming alliances within the structure of the party,” Azmin said in an interview with several reporters in Penanti, Penang, today.
“I am for inclusivity. When I move around, I welcome any leaders or members who like to listen to us and engage with us,” he added.
Azmin cited an example of his trip to Seremban when two different alliances contesting the PKR Youth post were present at an event.
He told the host to ensure both get the opportunity to speak to members and delegates.
“I want these ideas of inclusivity to be strengthened within the party. Each one of us have our strength and we can complement each other to strengthen the party,” Azmin said.
Azmin is defending the deputy president post against incumbent secretary-general Saifuddin Nasution and Selangor Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim.
Saifuddin has forged a pact with Nurul Izzah and Rafizi Ramli, who said their alliance was to give members a choice amidst the apparent clash between Azmin and Khalid.
Azmin was in Penanti to meet with PKR members in the north. Others leaders present at his meeting were Bayan Baru MP Sim Tze Tzin and Nibong Tebal MP Mansor Othman.
But Azmin does not see himself at loggerheads with his competitors, adding that he accepts the challenge as this shows the party practices democracy.
He said he does see the trio as having ganged up against him as he feels they have formed an alliance to offer their programmes and ideas to improve the party and contribute to the rakyat.
He is rather confident of his chances of victory although some of his supporters say that Azmin is in a ‘do or die’ situation, as he may lose the post if the trio proves to be a formidable challenge.
“I don’t see this as a fight between individuals. This is not a personal clash between any personalities but shows the intention to provide service that we want to contribute to the party and to the cause of reformasi,” the Gombak MP said.
“Whatever it is, let the members decide. Theirs is not an alliance or cartel to determine the future of this party. The ones to decide future of the party are the members,” Azmin said.
He urged all eligible members to cast their votes at their respective branches come May, and choose who should lead the party especially during this difficult time when we are facing various charges against our leaders, especially Anwar Ibrahim, he added.
“We need to prepare the party for the next line of leadership. There are so many challenges before us. We need very strong leadership to face this challenge from Umno and BN. We understand very clearly that Penang and Selangor are under siege,” he stressed.
Azmin said he believed in the wisdom of the party’s members who have gone through many elections – be it the general, state or party elections, adding he sees them have having matured through the process.