Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said Azmin was not chosen for the candidacy by the coalition leadership during the recent convention. (pix by MOHD FADLI HAMZAH)

CYBERJAYA: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today PKR deputy president Datuk Seri Azmin Ali was a capable choice for prime minister, but “he was not chosen” by Pakatan Harapan as its candidate.

“Yes, Azmin is capable, but he was not chosen. I don’t know if I am capable, but they have chosen me,” he said in typically cynical fashion when questioned by reporters after a forum on Vision 2020 here.

This follows much criticism from various parties, including within the opposition pact itself, when he was named Pakatan’s choice for prime minister at its convention last week.

PKR leaders from Selangor and Negri Sembilan were among those who voiced their opposition to the move, saying they would much rather Azmin had been picked.

Dr Mahathir later claimed he had not wanted to be chosen, but was forced into it.

On comments from Sangeet Kaur Deo, the daughter of former DAP chairman Karpal Singh, who had condemned Dr Mahathir for accepting the candidacy, he said everyone was entitled to their own opinion.

“(But) I have to respect those who support and believe in me.”

When asked to comment on analysts comparing him to former Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe, Dr Mahathir said he had no problem with such comparisons.

“Yes, I am like Mugabe. My mistake is I resigned (as prime minister),” he said.

Mugabe last year stepped down as president of Zimbabwe after 37 years in power, following a military takeover.

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