KJ: Hold party polls to end Umno impasse

PETALING JAYA: Following months of public squabbling involving Umno’s top leaders, Rembau MP Khairy Jamaluddin (pic) has called for party polls to be held as soon as possible, saying this would be the best way to end the impasse between rival camps.

“There is only one way to resolve the internal crisis in Umno -- expedite the party polls. Don’t postpone it until after the general election.

“The party polls should have been held this year, ” he posted on Instagram yesterday.

Khairy, who is the Science, Innovation and Technology Minister, said Umno must head into the general election with a leadership able to obtain a clear mandate from the people.

Urging the party supreme council to “do the right thing”, he said: “Expedite the party polls. You know we cannot continue like this.”

Political observers have noted that Umno is currently split between factions led by party president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and Tan Sri Annuar Musa.

Ahmad Zahid has declared that Umno will sever ties with Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia, while Annuar is urging Umno to stay on in the Perikatan Nasional coalition.

Last weekend, Umno deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan told the general assembly that the party plans to hold its internal elections this year if the general election is not called.

He said there are plans by Umno to hold its branch elections in August to be followed by divisional and central level elections, which will be held simultaneously nationwide.

Mohamad, who is the chairman of Umno’s selection committee for its internal elections, told Sinar Harian that the party is keeping a close watch on events leading up to the end of the Emergency Proclamation on Aug 1.

Umno, which has 3.35 million members as at March 26, was due to call party elections last year but this was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, which saw spikes at the end of 2020 following the Sabah state elections.

The Umno general assembly was also postponed several times due to the pandemic.

According to Umno’s constitution, the supreme council has the prerogative to postpone the party polls up to 18 months from the date when the election is supposed to be held.

The Umno elections are held every three years, with the last one held on June 30,2018. The current term for Umno’s office bearers is set to expire on June 30.

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