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Sunday September 22, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Sunday September 22, 2013 MYT 8:58:48 AM
by mazwin nik anis, razak ahmad, AND sira habibu
To be scrutinised: The Umno election committee carrying the nomination forms after nominations closed yesterday.
KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin were returned unopposed as Umno president and deputy president, but the rest of the race for party posts is crowded, with a number of surprise entries on nomination day.
A total of 261 candidates filed their papers for 30 seats in Umno and 77 in the Youth, Wanita and Puteri wings at the Putra World Trade Centre here yesterday.
The packed field is partly due to the revamped party election regulations, which eased entry requirements for aspirants and increased the number of voters from 2,500 to 146,000.
Umno secretary-general Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor said after nominations closed at 5pm: “The uncontested wins for the top two positions are good for Umno as they show that the party is mature, strong and undivided.
“The victories give the top leadership the mandate to continue helming Umno and the country.”
All eyes will now be focused on the many keen contests expected in the polling on Oct 19 for the supreme council, and Oct 12 for the Umno Youth, Wanita and Puteri wings.
The highlight will be the race for the three vice-president posts that will see the incumbents facing three challengers, including Kedah Mentri Besar Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir, son of the fourth Prime Minister.
Former Malacca Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam and former Negri Sembilan Mentri Besar Tan Sri Mohd Isa Abdul Samad are the two others challenging Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein and Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal.
Mukhriz was swarmed by supporters and the media when he arrived at the nomination centre at 2.50pm.
Ali Rustam caused a stir when he arrived about an hour later to submit his papers because of rumours that he had decided at the 11th hour not to contest.
Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin, whom many had expected to be returned unopposed only a week ago, suddenly found himself facing four opponents, who are branch office bearers of the wing. The last to enter the fray, Irwan Ambak, was a surprise entry after he evaded reporters when filing his papers.
The other challengers are Syed Rosli Syed Harman Jamalullail, Karim Ali and Akhramsyah Sanusi, son of former Kedah Mentri Besar Tan Sri Sanusi Junid.
One of the biggest surprises of the day was the entry of a second challenger for the Wanita Umno chief position.
Pahang state assemblywoman Datuk Maznah Mazlan submitted her papers at 4.50pm, just 10 minutes before the deadline.
Maznah joins Raihan Sulaiman, the daughter of former Umno information chief Sulaiman Ahmad Palestine, in trying to unseat Datuk Seri Shahrizat Jalil.
The nomination papers of Najib and Muhyiddin were submitted at the same time, at about 8.30am, by their political secretaries, Datuk Khairun Aseh and Datuk Mohd Nardin Awang.
The president and deputy president were each other’s proposer which “reflects how united and inseparable” the two leaders are, said Khairun.
The full list of candidates, including contestants for divisional posts, will be released on Wednesday at the end of a 72-hour cooling off period.
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Youth chief contender causes a stir at centre
Raihan in tears after repeating family tradition
No contest shows maturity, says Najib
Hundreds to slug it out at divisions
Theres no pact, say veeps
Stick to the rules or face consequences, candidates told
Tags / Keywords:
Politics, umno, nominations, crowded
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