Thursday, March 31, 2011

Opposition resolves Sarawak seat allocations

Opposition resolves Sarawak seat allocations
Hemananthani Sivanandam

KUALA LUMPUR (March 28, 2011): Pakatan Rakyat’s Sarawak state leadership has finalised allocation of most of the 71 seats for the upcoming state polls, but 23 overlapping claims are still under discussion.

Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said DAP and PAS have been given 15 and five seats, respectively.

Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) deputy president Azmin Ali confirmed that PKR would be contesting at least 24 seats while discussions on the overlapping 23 seats with Sarawak National Party (SNAP) are ongoing.

SNAP thus far has announced its intention to field 27 candidates to contest in the state election. Azmin added that there are no disputes in four seats which will be contested by SNAP .

“PKR and SNAP have overlapping interest to contest in 23 seats. These seats are Iban majority seats,” said Azmin in a press conference after the Pakatan leadership council meeting in Parliament today.

DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang and PAS vice-president Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man were also present.

The division of the 23 overlapping seats is based on “winnability” and acceptance factor of the candidates.

“If SNAP can come up with stronger candidates, then we will be more than happy to allow SNAP to represent that particular constituency,” said Azmin.

He said although SNAP will be contesting in four seats, the PR leadership council has not endorsed it yet as negotiations are ongoing.

He added that Pakatan wants to finalise the whole process before the seats are endorsed.
He did not reveal the names of the seats, adding that an official announcement will be made at the end of the month in Kuching.

Azmin said the negotiations with SNAP are based on the premise that it will continue to work with and for Pakatan.

He added that negotiations with SNAP adviser Datuk Seri Daniel Tajem and secretary-general Stanly Jugoh have been “warm”.

Anwar said state-level discussions were held before the seat allocations were confirmed by the Pakatan top leadership.

“It was a lengthy process at the state level. We are proud as there has been a lot of patience in dealing with the different issues that were resolved,” he added.

Nomination for the 10th Sarawak state election is on April 6 while polling has been set for April 16.

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