Lawyers for Liberty executive director Eric Paulsen has criticised PKR for dropping N Surendran as a candidate in the upcoming polls and being replaced by Karupaiya for the Padang Serai seat.
On Tuesday, PKR president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail confirmed that Surendran was not chosen to defend his Padang Serai seat and had also been dropped from the party’s GE14 list altogether.
The parliamentary seat in Kedah will now be contested by Padang Serai PKR division chief M Karupaiya.
Reacting to the announcement, Paulsen said in two tweets: “Extremely disappointed my colleague N Surendran was dropped. Only reason I can think of is that it is a party purge against those who are not of the ‘right’ faction.
“He has been an outstanding MP championing numerous human rights issues, including deaths in custody, police shootings, detention without trial, statelessness, defending human rights defenders and, of course, Anwar, the party and many of its members.”
In a subsequent tweet, Paulsen said PKR must not treat the general election like party polls by sidelining those in a different faction.
He also took aim at Karupaiya’s credentials for becoming an MP.
“We want the best-qualified person to be MP. In what bizarro world is Karupaiya a better candidate than Surendran?”
There has been speculation in recent weeks that Surendran was among several elected representatives, including Tian Chua, who would be dropped as they were said to be close to PKR deputy president Mohamed Azmin Ali.
However, a compromise between the party’s top two leaders saw Tian Chua being given a reprieve to defend his Batu parliamentary seat.
There was no respite, however, for Surendran.
Another candidate who was surprisingly dropped was Wangsa Maju MP Tan Kee Kwong.