KUALA LUMPUR - FORMER law minister Zaid Ibrahim pulled out yesterday from an ongoing race for the deputy presidency of Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), threatening to add to the opposition party's woes.

The former Umno man had given the PKR a boost when he crossed over to join the opposition in 2008, but his surprise pullout could embarrass the party, which has lately been racked by infighting.

Datuk Zaid, who has several leadership roles in PKR, also announced that he would step down from all his party posts but would remain as an ordinary member.

He cited electoral fraud as the main reason for his move, and accused PKR's leadership of condoning 'malpractices and electoral fraud to achieve its designed objectives'.

'I was offered to join this party under the belief that I could promote enlightened and progressive politics; nurture and develop principled political values and culture that I consider indispensable to the development of democracy and good governance in this country,' he said in a post on his blog at 3am yesterday. 'I was mistaken.'

Mr Zaid was a member of the party's supreme council and political bureau, and also headed the Federal Territories division.