PUTRAJAYA: The contest for 25 seats in Umno’s supreme council will be intense, with more than 120 members in the fight.
This is more than the number of candidates who had contested during the last party polls in 2013 when the party received around 80 names.
Umno sources said a good number of incumbent supreme council members is also seeking re-election.
Among them are Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed, Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Dahlan, Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek, Datuk Seri Reezal Merican and Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said.
Incumbents Datuk Shamsul Anuar Nasarah, Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom, Datuk Seri Mohd Sharkar Shamsudin and Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin are also said to be keen.
Party sources deny criticisms that “regulars” wanting to join in the fray is a stumbling block to Umno’s plans to rejuvenate and to inject new blood into its leadership.
“Anyone is welcome to nominate themselves. This is a case of the more the merrier.
“At the end of the day, it is the members who will choose who they want as their leaders. We can just offer ourselves,” said a party source.
The Umno supreme council comprises the president, deputy president, three vice-presidents, chiefs of the wanita, youth and puteri movements as well as the 25 elected members.
Apart from that, 13 appointed members as well as state Umno liaison chiefs sit in the meeting.
Umno will hold its wings and divisional election this Saturday, while polls for the president, deputy president, vice-presidents and supreme council members is on June 30.
The party decided to bring forward its election from next year to the end of this month following Barisan Nasional’s loss in the general election.