Saturday, February 29

Aye to ‘no contest’ enables full focus on GE14, says Zahid

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KUALA LUMPUR: Umno delegates’ unanimous support for the motion on the party’s top two posts to be uncontested in the coming party elections is seen as a manifestation of the delegates’ awareness on the need to concentrate on the 14th general election (GE14).

Umno deputy president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the party felt that this way, full focus could be given to preparing for GE14.

“Meaning, the party’s top leaders will be shouldering the responsibility (for GE14) as entrusted by all the delegates,” he told a press conference on the sidelines of the Umno General Assembly 2017 at the Putra World Trade Centre, here.

Ahmad Zahid, who is also carrying out the duties of party deputy president, said the delegates had also decided that the post of senior vice-president be assumed by Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein.

“Although the position of party vice-president is held by three people, only one is left now, so we’ve agreed that the post of senior vice-president be given to Hishammuddin,” he said.

Hishammuddin who was also present at the press conference, said as chairman and spokesman of the Umno supreme council’s motion committee, he was deeply touched by the inclusiveness and the democratic process at the ongoing general assembly when the motion was put forward by a grassroots delegate himself.

He said, personally, he had before this felt that the party’s top two posts needed not be contested so as to fully focus on GE14 and he was pleased that the matter was understood by the delegates as well.

“Democratically, it came from the delegates themselves who realised the same and who share the spirit of camaraderie and solidarity, and who are aware that full focus should be given to the general election and not to positions in the party.

“This spirit was translated into the motion that was unanimously accepted by the delegates,” he said.

Hishammuddin also hoped that there would he no quarters trying to cause friction between the leaders as there was already deep understanding among them, and that the decision was blessed and agreed upon by the grassroots delegates.

Earlier, Umno permanent chairman Tan Sri Badruddin Amiruldin announced the decision after the motion was proposed by a Youth representative and seconded by a Perak representative before being debated by state representatives and from the Wanita and Puteri wings.

Umno Youth representative, Datuk Mohamad Sahfri Ab Aziz, when debating the party president’s policy speech on Thursday, had tabled an additional motion for the party’s top two posts to be uncontested as a sign of wala’ or loyalty to the presidency and party.

The motion was seconded by Datuk Mohd Azhar Jamaluddin from Perak. — Bernama