Tawfik requests to contest under PH ticket in Bagan Datuk

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Political reform group Gerak Independent (GI) co-founder Tawfik Ismail has submitted a request to contest under a Pakatan Harapan ticket in Bagan Datuk.

The former Sungai Benut MP confirmed this with Malaysiakini, stating that it was a strategy to avoid split votes between him and Harapan during the 15th general election.

“(This is) to avoid splitting votes in pursuing identical goals, I am offering my nomination to Harapan as a candidate under their symbol,” he said.

This comes after Tawfik recently vowed to challenge Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi in GE15.

Bagan Datuk is a constituency Zahid has represented six times since 1995.

Earlier this year, GI announced its line-up of potential GE15 candidates for Subang, Petaling Jaya, Wangsa Maju, Kota Kinabalu and Batu – all seats won by Pakatan Harapan during the 2018 election.

Of these seats, one belongs to DAP while the rest are PKR’s including Batu, which was won by P Prabakaran as an independent but he has since joined PKR.

Earlier today, it was reported that Tawfik had met with some senior Harapan leaders at a convention a few days ago to convey his request.

“I was at Harapan’s convention last Thursday and informed the coalition leaders of my intention.

“I am now hoping to meet Harapan chairperson Anwar Ibrahim soon. Going against the former deputy prime minister in his own constituency is a huge challenge.

“Although I am standing as a calon rakyat (people’s candidate), standing under the Harapan banner will be ideal as I am taking on a huge challenge,” he was quoted as saying by Free Malaysia Today.

When asked if it was a collective decision by members of GI, he said it was an individual strategy.

Tawfik, the eldest son of the country’s second deputy prime minister the late Dr Ismail Abdul Rahman, chose not to divulge if Harapan would respond to his request but said he would proceed as an independent candidate if the coalition’s leadership turned him down.

Malaysiakini has contacted Harapan for comment. – Malaysiakini