State polls: BN, PH will not make seat negotiations in haste - Zahid
KUALA LIPIS - Barisan Nasional (BN) and Pakatan Harapan (PH) will not be hasty over the distribution of seats for the upcoming six state elections, says Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
He said the approach was also to avoid clashes or any problems that might arise if the chosen candidate did not win.
In addition, Ahmad Zahid said the negotiation for seat distribution among parties in the Unity Government also involved certain procedures including discussions between BN and PH at the state level before going to the national level to be finalised among the presidents of the relevant parties.
"What we will prioritise is that the seat distribution is done not only with a sense of equality but also look at the winnability. We feel that it is not only about victory but (also) about voter acceptance and the likeability of a candidate among the voters in the area concerned.
"And we still have quite a long time, maybe until July or early August to officially face the election campaign," he said at a press conference after attending the Pahang Umno Liaison Body Aidilfitri Open House at Laman Sejahtera Sungai Koyan here, today.
Also present were Pahang Menteri Besar and Pahang Umno chairman Datuk Seri Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail, as well as other Umno leaders at the national and state levels.
Ahmad Zahid, who is also BN chairman was responding to claims that seat distribution between BN and PH for the state elections in Kedah, Penang, Selangor, Negeri Sembilan, Terengganu and Kelantan was behind that of Perikatan Nasional (PN), which was reported to have been 85 to 90 per cent completed.
Asked about the views of certain parties that PN had a chance to make an impact in Selangor and Negeri Sembilan, Ahmad Zahid who is also Umno president said his side could not take the assumption lightly.
"Not only in Selangor, but (we cannot take it lightly) in all the states we are going to have the polls in," he said, adding that the results could favour the parties in the Unity Government if they coordinated their machinery well and provided accurate information to the voters.
Commenting on whether BN would make changes to the list of candidates for the six state elections to ensure their candidates were 'likeable', Ahmad Zahid did not rule out the possibility based on the achievements and experience in the polls in Melaka and Johor.
"BN put forward new faces (in Melaka and Johor)... in Melaka it was almost 80 per cent and the same for Johor which was more than 70 per cent. It means that we are very committed to rejuvenating Umno, BN and giving the younger generation the opportunity to be in the state leadership through the election," he said. - BERNAMA