PKR to contest if Balingian by-election on, says Baru
Posted on February 16, 2014, Sunday
State Pakatan Rakyat Council members in a photo call during their meeting in Kuching yesterday. Baru is seated centre.
KUCHING: The newly-minted State Pakatan Rakyat Council (SPRC) yesterday unanimously agreed that PKR would contest in Balingian should a by-election be called.
State PKR chairman Baru Bian said the agreement was made as Pakatan Rakyat (PR) wanted to contest the by-election, if called, as a united front.
“We also want it to be a signal to Sarawakians that we are serious in our political aim of challenging Barisan Nasional (BN) to form the government,” he told a press conference after chairing the SPRC meeting here.
Also present were state DAP chairman Chong Chieng Jen and state Pas chairman Adam Ahid.
The assemblyman for Balingian is Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud. He is stepping down as chief minister this coming Feb 28, but if he is appointed the new Yang di-Pertua Negeri, then he has to vacate the seat.
According to election laws, a by-election has to be called if the current term of the State Legislative Assembly has more than two years to run, which in Sarawak’s case expires on June 20, 2016.
However, under the State Constitution, a by-election is not necessary if the next state election is called within the next two years, and this is possible as the chief minister has the prerogative to dissolve the august House earlier.
Baru said his party had at least two candidates in mind. “We will announce our candidate when the time comes. At this stage we only suspect that a by-election will be held in Balingian.”
On the SPRC, Baru said it had officially been formed and it comprised five members from each component party. PR comprises PKR, DAP and PAS.
Among other things, he said, the council would decide on seat negotiations among PR parties to avoid overlapping claims in the 11th state election.
“In our meeting this morning, we agreed that for the coming (11th) state election all three parties will furnish a list of seats that they are interested in and share it with other members within a month from now.
“This is for us to know whether there are any overlapping areas, and if there are we will negotiate on the seat allocation later on.”
Baru said the main idea was to take on the Barisan Nasional (BN) one on one.
“Our aim is to fight BN one on one,” he said, adding that to avoid confusion on the ground no leaders from any component party were allowed to make public statements on seat
“A mandate has been given to the council to decide on anything with regards to seats allocations and negotiations so as to avoid confusions.”