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Friday, May 31, 2013

Najib implies he's open to challenge for party post


Umno president Najib Abdul Razak has implied that he is ready to face any challenge to his position in the forthcoming party elections, saying that Umno is a democratic party.

“Well, Umno is a democratic party so I do not know. We have to accept that Umno is an open party, not like some other parties,” he said at a press conference today. 

Najib said this when asked after an Umno supreme council meeting today whether he is expecting anyone to challenge his position. 

Umno has overhauled its party electoral system, which among other changes has removed a quota on the minimum number of nominations a candidate needs to run for the presidency. This effectively opens the position to a challenge from virtually any Umno member. 

The new electoral system will be put to its first use in the oming party election, which Najib said will be held some time this year. 

BN has suffered its worst electoral performance ever in the May 5 general election. Although Umno itself has performed relatively well, the GE13 result has shaken Najib’s position.
Meanwhile, Bernama reports that Najib said Umno will set up a special laboratory to study in detail the proposal to turn the BN into a single party. 

The Umno president said Umno also had to gather feedback from its members before making a decision on it.

Any changes, he said, must be based on acceptance by Umno members themselves.

“Umno is a party that is close to the members’ hearts... so any changes must be studied in minute detail to avoid the issue of non-acceptance,” he said. 

NONEThis is the first Umno supreme council meeting since the 13th general election on May 5.

The proposal to turn the BN into single party was forwarded by Gerakan acting president Chang Ko Youn (left).

Chang said efforts in this direction was needed because the 13th GE showed urban and young voters no longer voted along racial lines.
99 complaints on internal sabotage
Meanwhile, Najib also announced that Umno's disciplinary committee had received 99 complaints on internal sabotage during GE13.

Decisions on the complaints would be made by the committee, he said.

A total of 192 Umno members who contested as independents or joined the opposition during GE13 had earlier been given the immediate sack based on party policy.

Under the policy which is spelt out in Clause 20.10 of Umno’s constitution, sacked members cannot rejoin Umno forever.

NONEAmong those sacked were Wanita Umno vice-president Kamilia Ibrahim (left) who stood as an Independent candidate for the Kuala Kangsar parliamentary seat; Mohd Shariff Omar (contested the Tasek Gelugor parliamentary and Sungai Dua state seat as an Independent ) and Sepang Umno Youth chief Suhaimi Mohd Ghazali (contested the Sepang parliamentary seat as an Independent). 

Meanwhile, BN secretary-general Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor said BN would be filing more than 50 election petitions on the GE13 results in the High Courts of the states involved soon. 

He said the coalition’s lawyers were studying the cases including in 37 constituencies where the nomination of opposition candidates appeared to be doubtful in that election regulations were not followed.

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