Pakatan proposal for Mahathir as PM meets objections

Mahathir Mohamad has been proposed as Pakatan Harapan's candidate for prime minister.
Mahathir Mohamad has been proposed as Pakatan Harapan's candidate for prime minister.PHOTO: REUTERS

PETALING JAYA - Malaysian opposition pact Pakatan Harapan has proposed former premier Mahathir Mohamad as its candidate for prime minister if it triumphs at the next general election, reported The Star.

The pact also decided that Datuk Seri Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, wife of jailed opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, would be deputy prime minister.

However the decision, which was announced at the end of the coalition's two-day retreat in Putrajaya on Saturday (Dec 2), is believed to have met with objections mainly from within Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), Dr Wan Azizah's party.

According to The Malaysian Insight, quoting an unnamed source, three of the parties within the pact - Tun Mahathir's Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM), Parti Amanah Negara and Democratic Action Party - have agreed to these candidates, but PKR has yet to reach a consensus on the issue.

The news site noted that Dr Wan Azizah had agreed to the proposal in principle, but is facing opposition from a faction within her party.

"We have to defer the decision because PKR wants to discuss it in their political bureau (meeting)," said the source, as quoted by TMI.

Meanwhile The Star reported that PPBM Youth leader Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman revealed an internal poll showed Selangor Menteri Besar and PKR deputy president Azmin Ali was the leading choice among the wing's leaders to be PM.

The retreat, attended by over 40 leaders from the four parties, discussed outstanding issues ahead of the national polls which must be held by August.

The leaders also agreed, said to TMI's source, to finalise how constituency seats would be carved up between the parties by the end of December.