KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 12 — PKR will finalise its list of candidates to be fielded in the 15th general election (GE15) before the Election Commission announces the nomination and polling dates, said party deputy president Rafizi Ramli.

He said the party will finalise the list of candidates by October 19 at the latest, a day before EC’s meeting on October 20.

He said in the last two years, voters’ sentiments have changed and they were no longer voting based on party, but on the competency of the candidates fielded.

“Research has consistently shown that the candidate’s competence influenced at least half of the voters’ decision,” he said in a statement today.

Therefore, he said PKR will take into account voters’ sentiments to field quality candidates by vetting proposed candidates through a strict criteria.

The criteria that the candidates must fulfill include their contributions and seniority in the party, the strength of their election machinery and campaigning performance, their background in terms of education and profession, their contributions to the community outside of politics and their social media presence to evaluate their communication skills.

“The candidature committee, chaired by the party deputy president and vice presidents, will select a shortlist of candidates to be presented to the party president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim for final decision,” he said.

Rafizi said as at 10am today, a total 1,673 people have registered through the PKR’s website www.calonkeadilan.org to express their interest in being fielded as a candidate.

The candidature secretariat is now conducting early evaluation and screening of the registered candidates list so that all of the potential candidates will be discussed during the candidature committee meeting tonight, he said.