Malaysia GE13: Anwar's wife not contesting
PETALING JAYA -- Malaysian's opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim has confirmed that his wife and Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail will not be contesting in the 13th general election, Malaysian media reported.
"Azizah was able to lead the party while I was in prison. She leads the party but decided not to contest in the election," he said during a live interview with Al-Jazeera on Wednesday in response to allegations of nepotism in PKR, Free Malaysia Today website reported.
Aside from Dr Azizah, the couple's daughter Nurul Izzah is the party vice president and Lembah Pantai MP.
Speculations about Dr Azizah contesting in this general election arose last week.
Malay daily Sinar Harian reported Dr Azizah's intention to contest for a state seat in Selangor but added she had not decided on the seat.
"Yes, I would contest for a seat in the Selangor state legislative assembly but we need to discuss on a suitable seat. That would make it easier for me to conduct an election campaign and focus on the area," she had told the daily.
Following that, Selangor PKR information chief Shuhaimi Shafiei who is also Seri Muda state assemblyman offered four state seats out of the 17 that PKR have for her to contest.
Her intention to contest also created speculations that current Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim and PKR deputy president Azmin Ali who is also vying for the menteri besar seat would have to give way for Dr Azizah to be the next menteri besar, if she won.
Many PKR grassroots leaders also welcomed Dr Azizah's decision.
Dr Azizah was the Permatang Pauh MP from 1999 to July 2008. She contested in Permatang Pauh after Mr Anwar was disqualified from holding on to his MP position when he was imprisoned. In July 2008, she stepped down to allow Mr Anwar's comeback into active politics.
Her decision to step down resulted in her being disqualified to contest for a parliament seat until July this year.