The issue of overlapping claims has been resolved, says Baru Bian
KUCHING: PKR and DAP have ended their dispute over seats to contest in the April 16 state election.
“The issue of overlapping claims for seats has been resolved,” Sarawak PKR chairman Baru Bian said today.
He said de facto PKR chief Anwar Ibrahim, DAP advisor Lim Kit Siang and PAS President Abdul Hadi Awang would explain the details at a press conference this Friday.
“It is good news that our negotiations with PAS and DAP have been resolved,” he added.
“I am not allowed to say more.”
Bian’s announcement should bring relief to opposition supporters who fear that the overlapping claims will derail cooperation between the two parties and Pakatan Rakyat’s objective of dislodging the Barisan Nasional government and institute reforms in Sarawak.
DAP wanted to contest in 18 constituencies, but PKR said five of those should be given to its candidates. At one point during the dispute, DAP threatened to pull out of the Pakatan alliance and contest the election on its own.
The disagreement dismayed many opposition supporters, who want to see Pakatan meeting BN in as many one-to-one fights as possible. Some even said they would boycott the polls if PKR and DAP failed to settle their differences.
Asked whether PKR had settled a similar dispute with the Sarawak National Party, Bian said the “SNAP issue” had not been resolved.
“We have already communicated with SNAP leaders,” he said. “I was told by (PKR vice president) Tian Chua there has been an offer from our side, but so far there is no response yet from the other side.
“We are waiting until the end of the week before we make a decision.”
He also said Sarawak PKR’s list of candidates for the election would be finalized tonight, but added: “I cannot tell you who will be in the final list. It is up to the political bureau to endorse.”
Bian suggested that the Election Commission allow Sarawakians living in Peninsular Malaysia to cast their votes at designated places in Kuala Lumpur, Johor, Penang and Ipoh.
“We have several thousand students and workers in Peninsular Malaysia, and it will be a good idea if the Election Commission can allow them to vote there.”