KUALA LUMPUR: New Umno president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has described the open contest in the party polls as a historic democratic process to ensure the party remains relevant in the country's political arena.
He said the elections was a democratic process demanded by all members, and the party managed to implement it at every level, which saw the top Umno post being contested after the last one was held in 1987.
Dr Ahmad Zahid, who was previously the vice-president carrying out the duties of party president, was elected Umno president when he won 93 votes - ahead of his two main challengers, former Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin, who received 51 votes, and veteran Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah (23 votes).
"This is not an individual's victory but a victory for all, a win for Umno and the party members. I am inviting others to work together with the new leadership in translating Umno's transformation.
"Indeed, the smooth election is a manifestation of Umno members who love the party and want the party to recoup to remain relevant on the nation's political stage," he said in a statement here on Saturday (June 30).
Dr Ahmad Zahid said the smooth running of the polls this time also showed unity within the party and was proof of its members' loyalty.
He also called on members to close ranks and work to defend the interests of the people.
"We will keep moving forward in unison. The people are very hopeful that Umno continues to fight for the interests of religion, race and the homeland," he said.
Dr Ahmad Zahid also expressed gratitude to his supporters and said he would hold a supreme council meeting as soon as possible to discuss the manifestos of all presidential candidates. - Bernama
Zahid Hamidi officially wins Umno presidency