Kedah opposition reps call for assembly vote on Chief Minister's position

Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir (centre), the Kedah chief minister, speaking to the media. PHOTO: THE STAR/ ASIA NEWS NETWORK

ALOR SETAR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK): Kedah Opposition assemblymen want the state legislative assembly to meet to decide on the Mentri Besar's (Chief Minister's) position.

Hours before they are to meet at the Kedah Regency Council, summoned by the latter, the 15 assemblymen issued a statement that the state's laws should be respected and the top office be determined by the state assembly.

"We praise the palace for summoning us to get our views. The Council is upholding democratic principles and the people's rights," the assemblymen said.

On Monday (Feb 1), the Council, after a meeting with representatives from Barisan Nasional, summoned the assemblymen for a meeting at Wisma Darul Aman at 2pm today.

It is learnt that the meeting between the Council and Barisan assemblymen turned out to be inconclusive.

The Barisan assemblymen have been told to gather at a hotel while the opposition representatives meet at the Council on Tuesday (Feb 2).

The opposition comprised eight Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS) assemblymen, four from Pakatan Rakyat (PKR), two Democratic Action Party (DAP) and one Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah).

PKR's four assemblymen said they would vote to retain Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir as mentri besar should there be a vote at the state assembly.

State chief Dr Azman Ismail said the party was opposed to any change in the state leadership as it was not done in the interest of the people.

State Amanah chairman Dr Ismail Salleh said the party's sole representative would abstain from voting.

"We agree that the problem must be solved in the assembly, but Amanah would not cast its vote because we neither support Mukhriz nor others from Umno."

In Penang, DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng said while the party supported the move to call for a vote, it was premature to speculate on what took place at the Council meeting.

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