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PETALING JAYA: Anwar Ibrahim today dismissed criticism of his decision to contest in Port Dickson, claiming that he had the prime minister’s backing.

The PKR president-elect said prior to the announcement that he would stand in the parliamentary seat, he had informed Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad of the matter.

“He said ‘okay’, so why are you kicking up a fuss? There is no problem, so what’s the issue now?” he said at an event in Melaka tonight.

While the former deputy prime minister did not mention anyone in particular, there has been criticism following the announcement yesterday that he would be contesting the seat vacated by PKR’s Danyal Balagopal Abdullah.

Outgoing PKR Wanita chief Zuraida Kamaruddin questioned the party’s decision-making process following the move by the Port Dickson MP, saying it should have been decided by consensus and should have received the full support from PKR’s 840,000 members.

Zuraida, who is seen to be aligned with Mohamed Azmin Ali in his tussle with Rafizi Ramli for the deputy president’s post, also expressed hope that Anwar would explain the decision.

Lawyer-activist Siti Kasim also called on voters to reject Anwar saying the party and his family “must be taught a lesson”.

On a separate note, Anwar said there was no need to postpone the party polls in view of the by-election.

“These two matters (the by-election and the party polls) are important. We can focus on Port Dickson once the elections have concluded.”

Earlier today, PKR’s central election committee chairman Rashid Din said postponing the PKR elections would violate the Registrar of Societies’ (RoS) regulations.

The RoS has set Nov 16 and 17 as the dates for the party’s national congress.

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