PKR has spent almost RM2 million on its party polls this year. Pix by Muhd Zaaba Zakeria

KUALA LUMPUR: PKR has spent almost RM2 million on its party polls this year.

Party election chairman Datuk Rashid Din said, however, that the additional costs this time around was because the polls were conducted in stages by state over a period of two years.

He said another reason was that the membership had increased exponentially since Pakatan Harapan’s sensational win in the 14th general election in May.

“The polls involves 218 branches and some 800,000 members who are eligible to vote,” he said of the party election which will begin next month following the closing of the nomination process on Sunday.

Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has already been declared the next president of PKR, winning unopposed.

However, Anwar will only assume the role after the PKR national congress scheduled for Nov 16 and 17, Rashid told reporters.

“Until then, Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail will remain the party president,” he said.

The race for the deputy presidency, meanwhile, will see current vice-president Rafizi Ramli challenge incumbent Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali.

Twelve names are in the pot for the four elected vice-presidential posts. Among them are four current vice-presidents Nurul Izzah Anwar, Samsul Iskandar Mohd Akin, Dr A. Xavier Jayakumar and Chua Tian Chang, better known as Tian Chua.

(PKR has seven vice-presidents, but three of these are appointees.)

Rashid said PKR had, in 2014, began charging nomination fees for candidates due to the costs involved in holding party polls, and this time was no different.

For central leadership council positions, the fee involved was RM1,000, vice-president nominees were charged RM3,000 while for that of deputy president and president, the nomination fees RM5,000 and RM10,000, respectively.

Asked to comment on Rafizi’s announcement of forming a team to contest the party polls, Rashid said such an announcement did not go against the PKR constitution, adding that it was the right of anyone contesting to come up with his or her own campaign strategy.

“The party always encourages competition in its elections as this is something that is healthy for PKR... we get to see what kind of support our leadership lineup has,” he said.