KUALA LUMPUR, June 3 — PAS secretary-general Mustapha Ali is confident the Islamist party will remain unscathed after fierce party elections this weekend, and it will be ready to face the general election expected within a year.
He said that while other political parties have postponed their own party election, he was positive that PAS members are matured enough not to be trapped with divisive politics.
“This is probably the last muktamar before the 13th general election and I hope that we can fully use this opportunity of the muktamar as an arena for self reflection before the election.
“This muktamar will see the election of our leadership and although other political parties have postponed their election, PAS will not postpone its election. This is because we are confident that the maturity of our members will not leave any negative traces after the party election,” he said at the PAS general assembly today.
The biannual muktamar is perhaps the last before an early general election is called as the next is around June 2013, well past the expiry of the current administration’s mandate.
The muktamar also comes as the party witnesses its fiercest-ever election, with a three-way contest for the deputy president’s post and a six-way fight for the three vice-presidents’ posts.
The congress, from today to Sunday, will see a clash between the party’s ulama wing and what is called the Erdogan faction of professionals, who are willing to put issues over the traditional ulama concerns for Islam and winning public confidence in the party and its programmes.
While party president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang and Youth chief Nasrudin Hassan Tantawi have been elected unopposed, the race is keen for the number two post involving incumbent and Machang MP Nasharuddin Mat Isa, who is going for his third term as deputy president, and challengers Mohamed Sabu, better known as Mat Sabu, and Pahang commissioner and vice-president Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man.
There are six candidates for the three vice-presidents’ posts, including Kelantan exco members Datuk Husam Musa and Mohd Amar Abdullah, party information chief Idris Ahmad and former Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin.
Pokok Sena MP Mahfuz Omar and Kubang Kerian MP Salahuddin Ayub, who are incumbents, will also be defending their party posts.
A total of 53 candidates are contesting the 18 positions in the working committee.
The incumbent Dewan Muslimat (Women's wing) chief Nuridah Mohd Salleh is facing a challenge from her deputy, Siti Zailah Mohd Yusoff, for the top post in the wing.
Today, Mustapha also said he hoped that party election will remain clean and free.
“Until now, the party has yet to receive any complaints against the party election code of ethics,” he said.
By Asrul Hadi Abdullah Sani TMI