PETALING JAYA, Nov 9 — Datuk Zaid Ibrahim, who caused a stir yesterday by withdrawing from the PKR deputy president’s race, now wants Azmin Ali and Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to vacate their leadership of the party.
In a packed press conference at his home here this morning, the former Umno minister blamed both Azmin and Anwar for all allegations of election fraud and malpractices plaguing the party’s ongoing elections.
“I would like to say, if PKR wants to move, Anwar and Azmin must go... because they are the source of the problem.
“I may not get the support. I may get the support. You may think I am saying this by myself but on that, let us see,” he said.
Zaid even went a step further to describe Anwar as “fledgling, weak, tottering, [and] lack of focus”, adding that the entire Pakatan Rakyat pact would “suffer if we are not careful”.
He also suggested that he would be a good alternative leader in the PKR but quickly added that he would leave such a decision up to the party's members.
“I'll be a good leader but it is up to the people, the members. You have to consult them. You cannot say that oh, I am more handsome, I am a better speaker... you have to have some consultation and then decide who to take over,” he said, smiling.
Anwar, he said, was plagued with “personal issues” and should be given the opportunity to settle them.
“I think Anwar has a lot of personal issues... so let him settle his personal issues. Azmin is his problem as well. So both have to stand aside,” he said.
He accused Anwar of sparking off further problems in the party polls by openly campaigning for Azmin, said to be his right hand man, charging that this showed that the leader was biased.
“This is one of the source [of the problems]. That is why I said it is difficult when the party's de facto leader himself is biased.... going around telling the division leaders not to vote for me. So of course the election process is destroyed.
“The election should be a friendly affair so I feel that this is the source of the malpractices,” he said.
Zaid also said that Azmin, who is presently in the lead in the deputy presidential race, should be disqualified from the polls over allegations that the leader was tampering with the elections process.
Mustaffa Kamil speaks (left) while Zaid looks on during the press conference this morning. — Picture by Jack Ooi“People who abuse and chear must be disqualified,” he said.
Zaid also claimed to have video evidence of the alleged fraud in the party polls but said that he saw no need in presenting them to Anwar.
“Show him for what? It is better to show Bersih (coalition for free and fair elections).
“He (Anwar) said to prove that there is fraud. I think he has lost touch with the party if he thinks there is none. We have presented a lot of evidence of fraud... the votes are more than the number of members present, all kinds of things.
“I have statements from those who came to vote, using the membership tags of others, I have got tapes of people offering money in Alor Gajah. But I am not here for a slinging match with Anwar,” he said.
Zaid claimed that the weaknesses in the party elections was a “manifestation of the weaknesses of Anwar himself”.
“I am sorry to say this but this is the problem and I must be frank with you and the public. The fact that we cannot even organise a proper election shows that we are weak.
“The fact that only 6,000 members have come out to vote... what does that tell you? We have failed,” he said.