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PR endorses Wan Azizah as sole candidate for chief minister's post

Malaysia's opposition coalition Pakatan Rakyat (PR) has resolved its differences and endorsed Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) president Wan Azizah Wan Ismail as their sole candidate for the post of Selangor Chief Minister.

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia's opposition coalition Pakatan Rakyat (PR) has resolved its differences and endorsed Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) president Wan Azizah Wan Ismail as their sole candidate for the post of Selangor Chief Minister.

The decision was made after its leadership council meeting on Sunday evening. A special meeting of PAS Central Committee had earlier named Dr Wan Azizah, who is also Kajang assemblyman, and PKR deputy president Mohamad Azmin Ali as the party's choices to replace current chief minister Abdul Khalid Ibrahim.

Opposition chief and PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim stressed at a media conference on Sunday that he maintained his support for PKR's decision to name Dr Wan Azizah as the candidate for chief minister.

Mohamad Azmin, who was also present, also reiterated his support for Dr Wan Azizah as the sole candidate, saying it was in line with the statutory declarations signed by 30 Selangor assemblymen in stating their support for the president of PKR to be the new chief minister. Mohamad Azmin was once the political secretary of opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim. He is also regarded as one of Anwar's closest and most trusted aide.

Also present were DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng and PAS deputy president Mohamad Sabu. Pakatan Rakyat is made up of the DAP and PAS and has a two thirds majority in the 56-seat state assembly.

Speaking at a news conference, Mohamad Azmin said he did it to save the party and opposition alliance that's on the verge of breaking up. ''To me the party comes first, we must at all costs save Pakatan Rakyat. I strongly believe that after the crisis, Pakatan and Keadilan will emerge stronger."

The opposition pact said they will formally present Wan Azizah as the sole candidate to the Sultan of Selangor, Tuanku Sharafuddin Idris Shah. But the Sultan is currently away and will only be back on August 27.

PAS, at the special meeting, had also announced that it no longer backed the leadership of Abdul Khalid as chief minister. However, PAS ordered the four executive councillors from the party to remain under the State government administration which is still headed by Abdul Khalid.

Following PAS' withdrawing its backing for him, Abdul Khalid issued a statement saying he would be updating the Sultan on the latest developments and to advise the ruler on the next steps to be taken.