KUALA LUMPUR: Pontian MP Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan has withdrawn from the running to be a Dewan Rakyat Deputy Speaker.
"I discussed this with the Umno party president, Prime Minister and other party leaders on Wednesday (Oct 6) night and informed them of my decision to withdraw as a candidate for the post," he told a press conference in Parliament on Thursday (Oct 7).
The Umno secretary-general said he was withdrawing his candidacy so that he would be able to devote more time to party matters.
"I have met Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun to inform him of my decision," he added.
He said he made the announcement on Thursday to allow Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob to nominate replacement candidates before the next Parliament meeting on Oct 25.
Asked who will be replacing him, Ahmad kept mum, only saying that there were "one or two names".
He insisted that the candidates must be from Umno.
The Dewan Rakyat Deputy Speaker's seat fell vacant in August following the resignation of Pengerang MP Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said from the post.
Besides Ahmad, Teluk Intan MP Nga Kor Ming was also proposed as a candidate.
Perikatan Nasional chairman Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said on Thursday there was no need to create an additional third Deputy Speaker's post.
Currently, Datuk Mohd Rashid Hasnon holds one of the two existing Deputy Speaker posts.