KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysia's opposition Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) has finally released its official list of candidates on Tuesday (April 24), after tensions between top leaders over the past few days led to intervention from its defacto chief Anwar Ibrahim who is receiving treatment for an ailment in hospital.
Anwar is still behind bars after a sodomy conviction and is expected to be released in June.
According to the list, Anwar's daughter and a PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar, will leave her constituency in Kuala Lumpur to stand in her father's ward in Penang, Permatang Pauh, Malaysiakini online news reported. The seat is currently held by her mother and PKR president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.
Permatang Pauh constituency, located on the mainland side of Penang just north of Perak state, was first won by Anwar in 1982 when he was an Umno leader.
Opposition leaders have claimed that Ms Nurul Izzah's Lembah Pantai seat in KL, which she had held for two terms, is unwinnable after the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition allegedly moved in hundreds of illegal voters.
Dr Wan Azizah will leave Permatang Pauh and contest in Pandan, Selangor, currently held by her close ally Rafizi Ramli, another PKR vice-president.
Rafizi cannot stand in the May 9 polling as he was convicted in a whistle-blower case linked to alleged siphoning of money by the family of an Umno leader.
PKR deputy president and Selangor Menteri Besar, Datuk Seri Azmin Ali, will defend his Gombak parliament seat and Bukit Antarabangsa state seat.
The list seen by Malaysiakini showed that some of Mr Azmin's proposed names being dropped, but many others were retained.
Tensions between the Wan Azizah-Rafizi and Azmin camps over the list boiled over into public view in the last few days.
Dr Wan Azizah was seen leaving a public function in Selangor on Sunday, as Datuk Seri Azmin started his speech on the podium. They had earlier sat at the front row of the event with an empty chair between them, raising a lot of chatter on social media.
In the weeks before the list was released, party members from both factions were throwing darts at one another.
Political activist Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan, who at one time headed electoral reform group Bersih, tweeted on Monday (April 23) that the tensions over the candidates list is "unforgivable".
"When the rakyat (people) are doing everything in their power to overcome obstacles to ensure they can vote and to help in the elections, this nonsense in PKR is unforgivable!" she said on Twitter.
Earlier she had tweeted: "With great power comes great responsibility. Statesmanlike leadership is imperative."
Polling Day on May 9 is a working day on Wednesday, with many Malaysians in the country and those working outside making preparations to take annual leave to return home to vote.
In the end, it was Anwar who helped settle the candidates controversy between his wife Dr Wan Azizah and his close comrade Mr Azmin.
Anwar was on Monday met twice by Mr Azmin, according to The Star newspaper, to settle the final list.
The big fight is caused by intense jockeying ahead of PKR's own internal elections later this year, The Star said. Both factions are keen to ensure that as many of their allies become elected representatives to give them a stronger hand.