Sunday, May 11, 2014

PKR polls: Lack of information leads to low turnout

Khalid Saifuddin Azmin
PETALING JAYA: Voter turnout at the PKR polls, held to pick national leaders, has been ‘miserable’ because members are not told when and where they should cast their ballots.

Some 500,000 party members are required to find out details of voting by themselves and this has discouraged members from casting their ballots, a party source revealed today.
“That is why there’s a low turnout everywhere. We have 500,000 members but those who come to vote are only a small fraction. The party should make the whole election process transparent and tell members when and where they are supposed to vote,” he said.

He said the party election steering committee cannot place the responsibility on candidates to tell members when and where to vote.
“This is because a certain candidate will only inform his supporters of the details. Other members are left in a lurch. Our official website is also not helpful in giving out these details.
“Why isn’t the information getting updated? Members need to rely on news reports about the party elections through online portals,” he added.
The PKR polls began late April and is expected to end today. However several divisions which had problems will hold their polling after May 13, when the party is expected to announce winners of the polls.
Selangor will see the final round of polling today.
Incumbent deputy president Azmin Ali is expected to widen his lead with votes coming from Selangor. Other contenders in the race are Selangor Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim and party secretary general Saifuddin Nasution.
Azmin currently leads the race with 12,849 votes, followed by Abdul Khalid  (7,171 votes) and Saifuddin with 6,161 votes.
“If the people of Selangor were to vote then Khalid will win hands down, but this is the party polls where only PKR members are allowed to vote.
“In this aspect, Azmin will win easily as he controls the ‘warlords’ in Selangor. Khalid is not a popular man in PKR,” said the source.
Commenting on Saifuddin, the party source said there was no chance for Saifuddin to win the party number two post.
Saifuddin had formed a pact with vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar and party strategy director Rafizi Ramli, who is also contesting a veep position.
“This pseudo-partnership has not had any real bearing, it’s just for convenience sake. Although Nurul [Izzah Anwar] has got the most votes for the vice president’s post (13,013), those votes won’t translate to Saifuddin.
“Members voting for Nurul do not think they necessarily have to vote for Saifuddin,” he said.