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Anwar Ibrahim's wife replaces him in by-election
Publication Date : 10-03-2014
Malaysian opposition Parti Keadilan Rakyat's (PKR) “Kajang Move” initiative continues with its president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail as the candidate for the March 23 by-election and she is out to prove that she is no seat warmer for her husband.
Dr Wan Azizah said she was willing to take up the challenge after opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim lost his eligibility to contest following his sodomy conviction, adding that it was her responsibility as party chief to follow through with the struggle.
“People can call me a seat warmer or whatever they like. But I know and the party knows that I’m more than that. I’m here with a purpose, which is to fight for the people,” she said.
This is not the first time that Dr Wan Azizah is contesting “on behalf” of Anwar. She stood in the Permatang Pauh parliamentary constituency in the 1999, 2004 and 2008 general elections, a seat held by her husband before he was jailed for corruption.
However, a few months after the 2008 polls, she relinquished her post to make way for a by-election which Anwar won.
Anwar could not contest in the Kajang by-election after the Court of Appeal on Friday overturned his acquittal on sodomy charges and sentenced him to five years in prison.
Asked why Dr Wan Azizah was chosen although 12 other names, including PKR secretary-general Saifuddin Nasution, were put forward, Anwar said:
“Yes, Saifuddin’s name was included and I was keen for him to take over. However, he is very reluctant and wants to focus on his job as secretary-general.
“He also feels that in light of these circumstances and to represent the values and struggle of the Kajang Move, Wan Azizah is the best candidate for Kajang.”
Vowing to campaign daily in Kajang, Anwar said: “My wife is contesting. Of course, I will be campaigning for her.”