KUALA LUMPUR: Preventing the top two posts in Umno from being contested does not mean disrespect for delegates’ rights, said Umno treasurer Salleh Said Keruak.
“It is not that we are disregarding their right to contest, they can still contest for other posts in the party.
“The fact that the Umno general assembly had unanimously agreed to not have a contest for the top two posts reflects stability within the party.
“When a party is stable, it also reflects a stable political landscape in a country,” he said when met by reporters at the 2017 Umno general assembly.
Salleh, who is also communications and multimedia minister, was dismissing charges by some observers that the party’s leadership was being unfair to its delegates in disallowing them from contesting the post of party president and deputy president.
He added that the motion had the consent of all Wanita, Puteri and Youth wings, along with the majority of Umno’s divisional delegates, before it was brought to the general assembly.
“The posts of president and deputy president are kept from being contested because both of them (Najib Razak and Zahid Hamidi respectively) can work together to help build a stronger party.
“Our party president is a person who has vision and will be able to lead the country towards a glorious era. He needs a loyal deputy and a good friend to help him ensure that all his visions are met,” Salleh said.
The Umno general assembly had unanimously passed a motion for the top two posts in the party not to be contested in the next party election.
An additional part of the motion stated that the position of party president and deputy president should be helmed by Najib and Zahid respectively, without any contest.