Sunday, August 17, 2008

PAS non-committal on Anwar for PM

IPOH: PAS said Friday it will back Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim in the Permatang Pauh by-election but refused to say if it will endorse him to be prime minister if Pakatan Rakyat comes to power.

The remark indicates that Anwar faces big hurdles in his goal to take the top job despite stitching together a formidable alliance to produce spectacular gains during the March 8 general election.

PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang said at the party's muktamar here they "will give full support'' to Anwar during the by-election campaign.

However, Abdul Hadi dodged questions on whether PAS would accept Anwar as the prime minister.

"The Opposition alliance has no chief. We work through collective leadership,'' he said.

"Let him contest first. God willing, he will win. When he wins and there is a change (of government), then we will discuss. We will see who has got majority support,'' he said.

Abdul Hadi's guarded comments reflect the unhappiness among many of the party's members that its goal of setting up an Islamic state is being sidelined. - AP