KUALA LUMPUR: Sixteen Umno members from five states today filed a challenge questioning the legality of their party, as Umno has not held its elections since 2013.
In a leave application for judicial review filed today, three weeks before the May 9 general election, the 16 claimed the extension given by the Registrar of Societies (RoS) to Umno to hold its elections next year was against their party constitution. They want the order quashed.
“Under our constitution, party elections can be only extended up to 54 months,” they said, adding the last elections were held on October 2013.
They also claimed that the announcement to delay polls by Umno president Najib Razak had denied them their right to pick their leaders.
The 16, led by Umno Seri Merpati Pandan Indah branch leader Salihudin Ahmad Khalid, are seeking a court order compelling the RoS to investigate Umno for allegedly breaching their own constitution and for another order to suspend the party’s operations pending the court case.
They are also seeking an order to dissolve Umno from today as, they claim, the party is now “illegal”.
The 16 people filed the case at the High Court registry here today.
They named the RoS and Umno executive secretary Ab Rauf Yusoh as respondents in the judicial review application.
Previously, in August 2015, former Umno member Anina Saadudin sued Najib over the RM2.6 billion donation issue. She was then sacked from Umno for filing the suit.
In 1987, following an acrimonious fight in Umno, several members went to court and the High Court ruled that Umno was an illegal body due to election irregularities in a branch. The party was reformed as Umno Baru.
In the last Umno election, Najib and the then deputy president Muhyiddin Yassin won the top positions uncontested. Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Shafie Apdal and Hishammuddin Hussein won the three posts of vice-president.
However in 2016, Muhyiddin was sacked from Umno while Shafie quit the party. Both are now opposition leaders and will be contesting in Johor and Sabah, respectively, in the general election.
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