Anwar's 'de facto leader' status a focus at Special National Congress

Anwar's 'de facto leader' status a focus at Special National Congress
-filepic: Anwar and Azizah during the party's 9th congress
KUALA LUMPUR: The ‘de facto PKR leader’ status of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is expected to be one of the hot issues today at party’s Special National Congress today .

This is to be one of several amendments to the PKR constitution in an effort to “meet the demands of the current political landscape” and empower grassroot members.

“One major amendment to the constitution is to make it very clear that there is a de facto leader,” according to a PKR insider.

At the same time, Astro AWANI understands that there is a group that is opposed to that proposal, and instead urging that Anwar to contests for the presidency post.

The said group wants Anwar to take over from Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, who has been the president of the party since its inception in 1999.
The Congress will take place at the Dewan Raja Muda Musa, Kompleks Belia dan Kebudayaan Negeri Selangor. More than 2000 delegates, including those from Sabah and Sarawak, are expected to turn up.

According to a KeadilanDaily report, among the amendments that will be tabled include the number of votes required during the election for the Central Executive Committee(CEC) to take place next hear.

PKR has amended its constitution three times before this, including the merging of Parti Rakyat Malaysia and Parti Keadilan Nasional in 2003.

The last time PKR amended its constitution was in 2010 where the party instituted direct “one man one vote” elections.

Meanwhile, another amendment expected to be tabled would be to allow members to contest for leadership positions without having to be nominated by a branch.

According to PKR communications director Fahmi Fadzil, several other amendments include:

- changing the provisions related to the CEC and political bureau compositions.
- Giving more authority and autonomy to state leaders such as in Sabah and Sarawak
- Giving more decision making powers to the Angkatan Muda Keadilan(AMK) and Wanita wings

“There are some changes to reflect a more equal representation including Sabah and Sarawak for example. In that sense it is implementing the views we are receiving from the ground.”

“The new amendments will give AMK and Wanita wings more power to decide on things such as changing the age limit for the youths,” he said.

“We are strengthening the institutions of the party. There use to be quite an extensive and detailed specification of what is expected of the AMK and Wanita that may be a little too narrow. In this new amendment, the party is effectively allowing them to decide for itself its direction, make better and faster decisions and of course be more accountable about those decisions.”

Fahmi said that the party is moving towards a more decentralised leadership style that empowers leaders not at the top.

“PKR is a reform based party, from time to time there is a need to reform. This is one manifestation of reformasi spirit, in that sence, the changes that will be tabled and debated tomorrow is really the culmination of all that we have done so far,” he said.