26 May, 2007

Wan Azizah Wins Unopposed After Anwar, Rahman Withdraw

Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) president Datin Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail retained the seat unopposed at the party' election after two other candidates for the top post, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and Abdul Rahman Othman, withdrew from the contest.

Anwar, who is also the party's advisor, said he took the action as PKR risked being deregistered by the Registrar of Societies had he done so.

He cannot hold any political position until April 14, 2008 because of the five year prohibition rule under the Societies Act pertaining to convicted persons.

"The party comes first. My personal ambitions are secondary.

"I expect the general-election to be held in early August as I am seen as a big threat," he told reporters here today. More from Parti Keadilan Rakyat's website here and Malaysiakini's news here.

Anwar Ibrahim withdrew from a party election Saturday, accepting a ban on holding political office because of a previous corruption conviction.

Anwar, a former deputy prime minister, told some 1,800 delegates of the People's Justice Party that he decided to pull out of the race for the party presidency to protect its future.

The party could have been de-registered had Anwar defined the ban, making it ineligible to contest the next general elections, widely expected to be called later this year or in early 2008, although they are not due until 2009.

Anwar said he was prepared to be jailed for three years or pay a fine of up to 10,000 ringgit (US$2,940; €2,150) for defying the ban, but didn't want to put the party, known by its Malay acronym Keadilan, at risk.

"This is not just against me but there is a threat against the party of being de-registered. ... I will continue to lead but we should not give them the weapon," he said after two hours of debate during which delegates tried to persuade him to run.

Anwar Ibrahim, Advisor of the People's Justice Party (KeADILan) and one of the three candidates for presidency of the party, received a notice from the Registrar of Societies (ROS) this afternoon, rejecting his application to contest.

Anwar has since filed an appeal to the Home Minister.

Under the Societies Act, the Home Minister has the right to grant him a waiver.

KeADILan strongly condemns such the move by ROS as a deliberate ploy to prevent the reemergence of Anwar Ibrahim into active political leadership.

He has expressed his intention to go ahead with the elections tomorrow.

Tian Chua
Information Chief
People's Justice Party (KeADILan)

The Registrar of Societies informed Anwar yesterday that it has rejected his application to be exempted from a ban on active politics.

Datuk Seri Anwar is currently banned from public office till April 2008 because of his six-year conviction for corruption.

However, he said yesterday that he will defy the ban in party polls today.

Meanwhile, Malaysiakini reported that
Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail reiterates her intention to give up her president's post but stresses that she will continue to serve and contribute to the party... more

"Anwar Ibrahim is seeking to make a comeback to active politics as the opposition party, led by his wife, on Saturday predicted general elections to be called by August.

Anwar, who was sacked from the government nine years ago on corruption and homosexuality charges, is running for the presidency in Saturday's poll in the People's Justice Party, defying a ban on him holding political office due to a previous jail term, officials said.

The Registrar of Societies on Friday rejected Anwar's application to exempt him from being barred in the party poll but he has filed an appeal to Home Minister Radzi Sheikh Ahmad.

Anwar is being challenged by senior member Abdul Rahman Othman for the presidency in the party, known by its Malay acronym Keadilan and formed in 1999 by his wife Wan Azizah Wan Ismail after his arrest.

Wan Azizah is also defending the post, although officials said it is a precautionary measure in case Anwar is disqualified. Under the party constitution, a person barred from holding posts at the national level cannot hold a party post."

Gus Dur akan hadir Kongres KeADILan malam ini (Sabtu)

Bekas Presiden Indonesia Abdurrahman Wahid (Gus Dur) akan menghadiri sidang istimewa Kongres KeADILAn pada 9.30 malam ini, Sabtu 26/7/2007 di Sekolah Tinggi Chung Hua, Seremban. Beliau akan diiringi oleh tokoh-tokoh agama dari Indonesia. Orang ramai dijemput hadir.

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