Monday, November 15, 2010

'Stop cheating': PKR protesters want polls halted

By G Vinod

PETALING JAYA: About 80 people turned up at the PKR headquarters here today in a bid to pressure the party leadership to halt the ongoing party election allegedly marred by irregularities.

The crowd arrived at about 10.30am, led by former PKR deputy presidential aspirant P Jenapala and former Kota Raja division chief, KS Kotappan. They demanded that the controversial party polls be halted and restarted from the division level itself.

“We want the central election committee (CEC) to stop the party polls. If it continues, it will mean that the party is cheating the public,” said Kotappan.

Kotappan claimed there were discrepancies in the last electoral list, which proved the existence of phantom voters.

“The same phantom voters will be voting again for the central leadership election,” he said.

He added that it was unfair that the party was still going through with the polls as the CEC has suspended the results from several divisions.

“There may be others who are interested to run for central leadership positions. How are they going to nominate their candidates now?”he asked.

When asked whether he agreed with supreme council member Zaid Ibrahim's recent outbursts on party de facto leader, Anwar Ibrahim, and another deputy presidential hopeful, Azmin Ali, Kotappan said there might be some truth in it.

“Zaid is a smart man. I am sure there is truth in his claims,” he said.

On Nov 8, Zaid pulled out from the deputy presidential race in protest against the alleged electoral irregularities. He blamed Anwar and Azmin for the electoral melee and urged them to step down.

'No such position'

Kotappan's sentiments were echoed by Jenapala, who said Anwar had no right to interfere in the election process.

“There is no such position called a de facto leader in the party and he should not get involved in party affairs,” said Jenapala.

He also urged party president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail to step forward to end the electoral fiasco.

“However, if she wants to remain behind her husband's (Anwar) shadows, then she is not fit as well (to lead),” said Jenapala.

On Zaid's recent outbursts, he said he cannot blame the former law minister as he was also aware of the alleged manipulation in the party polls.

“So far, 162 complaints had been filed but none of them had been investigated,” claimed Jenapala.

Meanwhile, a group of youths claiming to be PKR members, said they did not know why they were brought to the party headquarters.

“All I know was that someone called Anand asked me to tag along with the crowd,” claimed R Logan, 19, who was joined by his friend, S Yuganathan 19.

Kamisah Ripin, 75, also said she has no idea what the protest was all about, and that she came just to show “support”.

“They told me to come show 'support'. So I came along,” said Kamisah.

When queried on the matter, Jenapala said while there might be some people “planted” in the crowd, almost everyone knew why they participated in the protest.

“Maybe they were not briefed earlier but they are all PKR members,” claimed Jenapala.

The crowd dispersed peacefully at about 12 noon.


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