Datuk Seri Azmin Ali and most leaders of Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) aligned to him were absent from a party retreat in Port Dickson yesterday where Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad called for an end to hostilities between the Economic Affairs Minister and premier-in-waiting Anwar Ibrahim.
The retreat followed an escalating war of words between PKR leaders split over gay sex allegations levelled against Mr Azmin, who is deputy president. The drawn swords are widely seen as part of a tussle to become Malaysia's next prime minister after Tun Dr Mahathir's promised departure before the next general election.
Datuk Seri Anwar, who is PKR president, struck a conciliatory note before the retreat's opening, promising that the party will unite in the interests of the public.
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