No party can force Pakatan Harapan to dance to its tune, PKR deputy president Azmin Ali said today.
“(Former US president Barack) Obama once said that democracy is a noisy process and there will be those who agree and those who don’t. That is democracy.
“But if I force you to follow my way, that is not democracy but autocracy,” Azmin said.
He was responding to PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang who said parties that wanted to cooperate with PAS must follow the Islamic party’s tune.
Prolonged and as yet fruitless negotiations between PKR and PAS to form a grand opposition coalition in the next general election had prompted Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) chairperson Dr Mahathir Mohamad to call for an end to the talks.
In response, PAS accused Mahathir of being a political dictator by forcing Pakatan Harapan to follow his way.
Harapan and Bersatu have agreed to cooperate against BN for in nthe 14th general election.
PKR has played the role of negotiator between Harapan and PAS, given the thorny relations between PAS and the two other Harapan members, DAP and Amanah.
Amanah is a PAS splinter party. Disagreements on hudud between PAS and DAP led to a break-up of the earlier opposition pact, Pakatan Rakyat, in 2
Speaking to reporters in Gombak, Azmin said the opposition parties have a strategy to forge an electoral pact but it cannot be revealed publicly.
“Pakatan Harapan, PAS, Bersatu, Amanah and DAP all believe democracy should flourish in the country. I am confident that none of these parties would disagree on that.
“We all agree that we should combat corruption to the bitter end and ensure straight fights (with BN). We don’t know when the election is, and in any case we would not be telling the media our strategy,” Azmin said.
He stressed that PKR is continuing its challenging negotiations with PAS, and is confident an outcome would be reached.
“Any negotiation process is difficult, it is not something that can be resolved in one meeting.
“We will continue with negotiations, and last night I met with the Bersatu chairperson and president to look at how we can move forward,” the Gombak MP added.