Friday, August 1, 2008

Who will be the next opposition leader in Parliament?

Who will be the next opposition leader in Parliament?
2 Aug, 2008

Mohamed Azmin Ali

(The Sun) - With Datuk Seri Wan Azizah Wan Ismail's resignation as Member of Parliament for Permatang Pauh, the position of Opposition Leader in the national legislative assembly is up for grabs.

Wan Azizah had a short stint as opposition leader after the Pakatan Rakyat coalition performed strongly at the March 8 general election. She took over from the charismatic Lim Kit Siang on April 30 on the basis that Parti Keadilan Rakyat won the most seats among the three partners.

But with her sudden resignation on July 31, the vacancy needs to be filled fast as Parliament's third meeting will start on Aug 18 and will end on Dec 11, a total of 41 days. This will be the all-important national budget session.

Sources in PKR say that no decisions have been made yet, although this is something that has to be decided as soon as possible.

"Ultimately, if Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, who is standing as a candidate in the Permatang Pauh by-election, win, then he is our obvious choice."

A Bernama report named PKR vice-president Mohamed Azmin Ali as the next leader of the opposition pact in Parliament, at least until the outcome of the by-election is known.

PAS Youth chief Salahuddin Ayub told Bernama that it was up to PKR to decide who should lead the opposition in parliament before the by-election. He named Mohamed Azmin as the most suitable for the post as he was a senior leader of the PKR.

"Usually, the three parties (in Pakatan Rakyat) will discuss any move. But as an MP, I respect meaning leaving it to PKR to decide," said Salahuddin, who is the MP for Kubang Kerian.

PKR information chief Tian Chua, the MP for Batu, refused to be drawn to speculate on the candidate.

"We propose that Datuk Seri Anwar fill the vacant post, but for now we have no proposal yet," he said.

Jelutong MP from the DAP, Jeff Ooi Chuan Aun, also named Mohamed Azmin as the most senior member for now, before the post is handed over to Anwar if he wins the Permatang Pauh by-election.

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