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Thursday September 26, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Thursday September 26, 2013 MYT 7:58:05 AM
by mazwin nik anis AND razak ahmad
KUALA LUMPUR: Nearly half of the current line-up of 25 elected Umno supreme council members will not be defending their positions at the party polls, paving the way for many new faces to join Umno’s highest decision making body.
Only 14 of the current 25 elected members will defend their seats. They will be joined by 50 other candidates hoping to make it into the supreme council.
The 64 candidates are among 260 aspirants vying for top posts in the supreme council and the three wings.
Umno election committee chairman Tan Sri Tajol Rosli Ghazali announced the full list of candidates at a press conference yesterday.
The incumbents who have opted out are party seniors and those who are leading state Umno, who will be appointed to the council.
The state Umno chiefs who are not contesting are Johor’s Datuk Seri Mohd Khaled Nordin, Datuk Seri Adnan Yaakob (Pahang), Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir (Perak), Datuk Seri Ahmad Said (Terengganu), Datuk Seri Musa Aman (Sabah), Datuk Seri Noh Omar (Selangor) and Datuk Zainal Abidin Osman (Penang).
Party seniors who will be making way for changes are former Works Minister Datuk Seri Shaziman Abu Mansor, former Sepang MP Datuk Seri Mohd Zin Mohamed, former deputy Finance Minister Datuk Dr Awang Adek Hussin and former Setiawangsa MP Datuk Seri Zulhasnan Rafique.
Khaled had said that he was not contesting to focus on administrating Johor while Zambry wants to make way for “other qualified party members”.
Keningau Umno division chief and Sabah’s assistant minister for Rural Development Datuk Sairin Karno said he is joining in the fray as he believed this was an opportune time to offer himself to serve the party at national level.
Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob who is seeking a second term in office said he believed that he could still serve Umno and its members.
“I want to help the president to strengthen Umno so that it can continue with its agenda and be the champion of the Malay struggle.”
Tajol Rosli also confirmed the withdrawal of Datuk Hamidah Osman from the Wanita Umno deputy chief race, adding that 33,682 members would be contesting for the various positions at divisional level after 268 candidates had pulled out.
He also confirmed that none of the six vice presidential candidates, five Umno youth chief contenders, three Wanita Umno and two Puteri chief aspirants had withdrawn.
Umno executive secretary Datuk Rauf Yusuh said the party was screening all candidates for bankruptcy and criminal court cases.
“Those whose names are in the Insolvency Department list or who have pending criminal court cases will be struck off immediately.”
The final list of candidates is expected to be out by Oct 7.
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