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PAS giving up several seats and DAP demanding for more seats

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KUALA LUMPUR: State Pas said it will be giving up several seats in Johor while DAP, a partner in the Pakatan Rakyat is demanding that it be allocated more seats in the state in the next general elections.

Johor Pas commissioner Datuk Mahfodz Mohamed told The Mole the party would settle for eight parliamentary and 28 state seats, down one and five compared with the number of seats Pas contested in the 2008 general election.

Pas had then fielded candidates in nine parliamentary and 33 state seats. Mahfodz also said Pas had asked its other partner Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) for more state seats to contest, but the latter refused. He said Pas chose not to squabble over it.

Asked to elaborate on the decision, Mahfodz said, “I think we in Pakatan agree that Pas can’t contest on its own. So we are allowing DAP and Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) to contest for more seats – as long as the opposition party is able to bring down Umno and Barisan Nasional grip on the state.”

He said of the five state seats it gave up, Pas had offered two to DAP and the remaining three to PKR.  Mahfodz responses shed some light over reports of squabbles within Pakatan over seat distribution in Johor as discussed widely in the blogosphere.

Meanwhile DAP Johor state chairman Dr Boo Cheng Hau insisted on pursuing the party’s demands for more seats in Johor, pointing out that in the 2008 general election, the DAP only fielded 12 candidates out of 56 available state seats and six out of the 26 parliamentary seats.

The Skudai assemblyman dismissed claims that DAP’s demands was a move to make the DAP the dominant party among its Pakatan partners in Johor.

Dr Boo added: “We only want the seat allocation to be fair among the three Pakatan parties.
“It is not true that DAP want to be dominant in the coalition in Johor. We asked for one-third seat allocations for us, and the remaing two-thirds for PKR and Pas.”

When asked about the tussle between DAP and PKR over the matter, Dr Boo said, “actually there is no such problem among us.”

He also explained that the seats negotiation had not been finalised yet, and he only had the power to recommend to the DAP’s leadership the names of candidates and which seats they should be contesting.
Commenting on alleged fallout between Johor PKR chairman Datuk Chua Jui Meng and him, Boo said: “I believe Datuk Chua and I have our own stand and we know about it.”

“What is more important for us is to actually work together to ensure Pakatan’s win in Johor.” – The Mole
Chua when contacted said seat negotiations must be based on Pakatan’s guidelines.
“This guideline must be followed as it encompasses to all of us in the coalition,” Chua said.

Chua added he did not want to comment further on the matter as the seat allocation negotiations were still a “work-in-progress” and the matter has not been agreed upon by Pakatan’s presidential council.

He also said mature politicians would not discuss issues pertaining to seat-allocation and election strategy in public to avoid overlapping comments.
“I have maintained the Pakatan’s principle, and this issue should best be decided by the leadership,” Chua said.