KUALA LUMPUR: Umno decided to nominate party vice-president Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob as its prime minister candidate as party president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi withdrew from being nominated for the post, says Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan.
"The Umno president had withdrawn from being nominated during the Umno supreme council meeting late Tuesday (Aug 17), and previously during the meeting with Umno lawmakers and party political bureaus," the Umno secretary-general told reporters after a three-hour meeting here at Menara Datuk Onn on Wednesday (Aug 18).
Ahmad Maslan added that Umno deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan did not fulfil the criteria as prime minister candidate as he is a member of the state assembly and not a federal lawmaker.
"So we picked the number three (in the party hierarchy), Ismail Sabri," he said.
Ahmad also said Ismail Sabri has vast experience including as a senior minister, deputy prime minister and even as Opposition leader.
"I think he is the most suitable in the list of candidates," added Ahmad Maslan.
Members of the Dewan Rakyat have until 4pm Wednesday to submit the name of a nominee they support as the next prime minister of the country.
On Tuesday (Aug 17), Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun informed all MPs to submit in writing their choice of candidate to Istana Negara via fax, email or WhatsApp.