Shafie: Anwar the Opposition’s only candidate for PM

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PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is the only prime minister candidate for the Opposition, with Parti Warisan Sabah president Datuk Mohd Shafie Apdal stepping aside.

“We have agreed for Anwar to be supported as the Opposition candidate for PM,” Shafie said when contacted Wednesday (Aug 18), adding that he would be deputy.

However, it remains to be seen if the Pakatan Harapan-led block of 105 MPs would be able to gain the support of at least six other MPs to achieve the simple majority of 111 that is needed.

As of now, MPs from the Perikatan Nasional coalition expect their only choice, Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, to have the support of 115 MPs.

Each of the Dewan Rakyat’s 220 MPs has to sign a statutory declaration indicating the candidate they support and submit it to the King by 4pm on Wednesday.

Shafie said whoever gets the support to be sworn in as prime minister would have to eventually validate his support in Parliament.

On the Opposition’s chances, he said they were working on it, but time was short.

Its 105 MPs so far comprise Pakatan Harapan (88), Warisan (eight), Pejuang (four), Parti Sarawak Bersatu (two), Upko (one), Muda (one) and independent Dr Maszlee Malek.

Shafie appeared to have hoped to secure support from GPS to make up the opposition’s numbers but failed to do so.

Chief Minister Abang Johari Openg has so far not made any statements on where GPS stands after Muhyiddin’s resignation, although the coalition’s secretary-general Alexander Nanta Linggi had said GPS would support Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

Abang Johari had said in the past that GPS will never support any group that has DAP as its partner, thus apparently ruling out any support for the Anwar-led Pakatan Harapan.