The long PKR party elections drew to a close today with Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali all but certain of winning the tightly contested deputy president post.
As of Saturday, the incumbent deputy president holds a handsome lead of close to 4,000 votes over his rival Rafizi Ramli, with only seven remaining divisions in Sarawak heading to polls today.
According to unofficial results, Mohamed Azmin has secured 60,075 votes against Rafizi’s 56,083, pending the results for the last eight divisions which had just concluded.
The result also did not take into account the votes for the Julau division, which was suspended on Saturday, after claims by Rafizi that the tablets used for the voting had been compromised and hacked.
While Rafizi had claimed that he would have obtained a further 3,000 votes had the Julau election not been suspended, Mohamed Azmin could still unofficially win the deputy presidency race should he maintain similar voting trends in the remaining divisions.
The seven remaining divisions to cast their ballots today were Sibu, with 2,458 registered members, Santubong (1,949), Petra Jaya (1,526), Sri Aman (1,411), Puncak Borneo (1,408), Sarikei (1,397), and Stampin (538).
there are over 13,000 members in the Julau division. Typically, the turnout for each division is about 30%, making it an uphill battle for Rafizi to defeat Azmin.
“If the last seven divisions have a similar trend to the other divisions in Sarawak, then it is almost impossible for Rafizi to overtake Azmin,” political analyst Assoc Prof Dr Jeniri Amir said.
“Also, Azmin has ‘planted his seed’ in Sarawak for so long, hence the overwhelming support for him there. The people like him, and he has contributed a lot to them.
“And the presence of people from his camp, like Zuraida Kamaruddin, who also holds strong position in the party, will help Azmin a lot. So I would say Rafizi’s defeat is imminent.”
Jeniri, however, said Rafizi still had a major role to play for the party, particularly with the strong backing from president-elect Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim for him.
“His political future is still bright. Even if he loses, he will still be given space in the party. He is very critical in nature, and he could even be the watchdog in the party.
“I believe he should also be given a role to study the voting trend in Malaysia and the sentiment of the rakyat, heading into the next election.
“He is in charge of Invoke, and very good in doing researches and studies, which is vital for PKR,” he said.
Rafizi and Mohamed Azmin has been neck-and-neck in the heated battle for the deputy presidency, before the latter started pulling ahead in Sabah and Sarawak, the last two states to head into polls.
When contacted today, Rafizi said he would only issue a comment after the conclusion of the election.