MELAKA:THE PKR leadership has returned the honour of opening the party wings’ congress to deputy president Datuk Seri Azmin Ali, in a reconciliatory effort following intense protest against an earlier move to rescind the traditional invitation to the party leader to officiate both events.
Azmin is now scheduled to open the PKR Youth National Congress, scheduled for tomorrow. Earlier, after much coaxing by party leaders, Azmin was allowed to open only the Women wing’s congress scheduled tonight.
PKR Youth deputy chief Muhammad Hilman Idham yesterday said he welcomed the move to return the “tradition” of party deputy president officiating the annual convention.
“We welcome PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and Azmin’s efforts to strengthen unity and consensus among party members ahead of the national congress which begins tomorrow (today). I urge all delegates, observers and PKR Youth members to attend the Youth wing congress and the 14th National Congress here this week.”
It was reported that the invitation to Azmin, who is economic affairs minister, was cancelled in the middle of last month, prompting him to comment that it was an attempt to silence him from criticising the top PKR leadership.
Anwar had previously defended the decision to rescind Azmin’s invitation, a verdict made by the central leadership.
It was then decided that Azmin would open the Women’s congress, while PKR Advisory Council chairman and Anwar’s wife, Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, would officiate the Youth congress.
Dr Wan Azizah, who is deputy prime minister, would close the Youth and Women wings’ meetings.
Azmin had been absent from all PKR meetings for the past year, but made a comeback at a political bureau meeting at Parliament yesterday.
This was the first meeting he attended after being elected as the party’s No. 2 in September last year.
Among those in attendance were Central Leadership Council members said to be aligned to Azmin, including Zuraida Kamaruddin, R. Sivarasa, Tian Chua, Datuk Mohd Rashid Hasnon and Amirudin Shari.
Azmin, when met, said his presence was to discuss with Anwar the position of the party and the party congress.
Anwar and Azmin’s less than amiable relations had been constantly played down by the top leadership.
Anwar believed that all was well in the party, despite apparent frustration and discontent between camps siding with either him or Azmin.
The ongoing war of words in PKR is believed to have stemmed from controversies on various issues, including the country’s premiership.