PUTRAJAYA: Parti Keadilan Rakyat deputy president Rafizi Ramli said Pakatan Harapan had never discussed forming a joint government with Barisan Nasional before the 15th general election.
He also said the election results were unexpected, including a landslide victory for PAS and that BN only managed to win 30 parliamentary seats.
Rafizi, who is also the minister of economy, clarified in a media conference today that a recent social media post by PKR secretary-general Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail did not imply that PH and BN had discussed forming a joint government before the election, as this was impossible.
“I asked him (Saifuddin) last night, and confirmed that indeed there wasn’t any discussion (of cooperation) between PH and BN before the election.”
He said PH’s election strategy was very straightforward, i.e. to win at least 112 seats to form a government with a simple majority.
“When I asked him last night, I remember he told me his content had been misunderstood. What he was trying to say was that PH and PKR had always been persistent in not making any enemy, and that even our relationship with Umno was one of mutual respect, and this has allowed us to complete the negotiations on the formation of a unity government within the shortest time possible.
“There wasn’t any discussion before the election. In fact, the results for individual parties were out of our expectation, especially Umno’s.
“We were just as shocked as you about PAS’ landslide victory. We didn’t even expect BN to win only 30 seats. We thought they could manage 70 or 80 seats.”
Rafizi also said all contesting parties expected themselves to win the most seats and it was therefore impossible for them to discuss beforehand forming a joint government.