KUALA LUMPUR – PKR will likely end up the biggest loser if it fails to set a deadline for its seat negotiations with PAS for the 14th General Election due within a year, political analysts have predicted.
While it is imperative for the federal Opposition pact to talk and avoid a three-way electoral battle, the analysts contacted by Malay Mail Online said that without a definite time-frame, the outcome would end in an impasse that would hurt PKR, its Pakatan Harapan (PH) allies and voters.
“Time is running out for the negotiation and they should set a deadline, otherwise voters can be frustrated with the different signals,” Penang-based analyst Ooi Kok Hin said.
But he also said it was unlikely for PAS to agree with PKR or PH on seat negotiations, claiming that there were two factions within PAS.
“One camp is in the Selangor government and keen to resume seat negotiation talks and the other camp does not want cooperation with PH,” he added.
Jeniri Amir also concurred with Ooi for PKR to set a deadline, but added that the party should start drafting strategies to face two blocs — BN and PAS — should PAS not reply on time.
The Universiti Malaysia Sarawak associate professor said time does not permit PKR to extend discussion into the matter as the 14th General Election could be called any time, as remarked by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak Thursday.
“If Parliament is dissolved tomorrow, PKR will not be prepared as it is still trying to coax PAS,” Jeniri said.
He said failing to set a deadline will also anger PH component parties which have not been interested to collaborate with PAS.
“In fact, this move has also gotten some of its members riled up,” Jeniri told Malay Mail Online, noting the resignation of Selayang MP William Leong from the PKR political bureau as a case in point.
Last Monday, Leong said he could not accept the party’s willingness to negotiate seats to avoid three-corner fights in the 14th General Elections when PAS leaders themselves were seen hostile towards PH parties.
Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs chief executive Wan Saiful Wan Jan said PKR must execute its discussions with PAS quickly and as transparently as possible.
He said PKR deputy president and Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Azmin Ali must handle the negotiation carefully without ticking off any PH members.
“He cannot bulldoze his way over his own party and over PH. He should inform them of what he is doing.
“And PKR as well as PH should give him the blessing to talk to PAS. Of course the final deal will be subject to PH’s decision,” Wan Saiful said.
PKR’s political bureau had last week given the green light to Azmin to negotiate seat allocations in Selangor with PAS.