Re-election cliffhanger in race for PKR No. 2

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KOTA KINABALU ― This weekend’s re-election in three Sabah PKR divisions with large memberships could turn the tide in the deputy presidential race that Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali is currently leading.

Sabah PKR elections coordinator Rosli Masaliku said the current results, which show incumbent deputy president Azmin ahead of Rafizi Ramli by 3,202 votes, could be different after the weekend’s elections in the three Sabah divisions and in Sarawak.

“The divisions ― Keningau, Pensiangan and Tawau ― have among them 27,000 members. Of course, we don’t expect a full turnout, but it could still mean the difference between winning or losing,” Rosli told Malay Mail.

“The results now are still not official. We will wait for the latest results after this weekend. But for now, yes, Azmin is leading, by 1,611 votes in Sabah,” he said.

Rafizi had claimed on Facebook he could have gained a 3,000-vote lead against his rival if it had not been for problems in the Sabah elections over the weekend, including the lack of printers providing QR codes for voters, a polling centre that was too small to accommodate voters, and poor internet connectivity.

The central leadership announced that a re-election in the three divisions will take place because of the various problems. It will be held tomorrow in Keningau and Tawau, and on Sunday in Pensiangan.

This weekend marks the final lap for the deputy president hopefuls as the three divisions and Sarawak’s 56,000 members are the last to go for the e-voting.

Rosli said new measures will be put in place in the three Sabah divisions to ensure a smoother voting process, including more tablets, and increased police and Rela personnel on standby to keep things in order and prevent provocation.

“We need to ensure the process runs smoothly. We don’t want people barging in and causing chaos,” he said.

“The leaders themselves should know how to tell their supporters to be disciplined. It works against them when their supporters get rowdy, and they can lose support and also possibly be disqualified.”

Last weekend, Rosli had also complained that JPPs (central election committee members) from the peninsula had hijacked their duties in overseeing the elections.