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PAS closes door on talks to form unity govt

KUALA LUMPUR, 27 Oct 2009: PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang said today the party had closed the door on talks to form a unity government with Umno.

He said there had been a change in the national leadership, and PAS had yet to evaluate the attitude adopted by the current national leader.

“The unity government is no longer viable. We have closed the book on it. [Former] Prime Minister (Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi) has already stepped down.

“As for the existing leader, we don’t know what is his attitude and position, the situation has also changed,” he told reporters at the Parliament lobby here.

He said Umno, too, had stopped raising the issue on the unity government, and instead the party and the Barisan Nasional (BN) were currently tackling the crises faced by the BN component parties.

When asked to comment on the advice by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad that PAS spiritual leader Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat relinquished his party posts, Abdul Hadi said the former prime minister had no right to interfere in the affairs of PAS.

He said PAS could determine its own leadership, and was confident that Nik Aziz was still capable of playing his role as the PAS spiritual leader. He added that there was no necessity for Nik Aziz to step down.

“We practise democracy in PAS. Everyone can give their opinion, and we have been practising it all the while and we can resolve party problems amicably,” he said.

Meanwhile, party sources believed that the special meeting of the PAS Central Committee tomorrow could resolve the leadership problem that had been plaguing the party for quite some time, although there were talks that the special meeting was merely to “sweep the dirt under the carpet”.

A source told Bernama that it would be difficult for the top leadership to resolve the real issue because the problem involved a leader who was respected by the grassroots on one side, and the party leadership chosen by the delegates to steer the party on the other.

It was not the first time that Nik Aziz has voiced his unhappiness over several party leaders, and he had clearly named the leaders concerned in the run-up to the PAS election last June.

Ironically, the individuals named had been chosen by the delegates to lead PAS for the next three years, while the candidates from the professional group supported by Nik Aziz had lost. — Bernama

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