PETALING JAYA: Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said he will leave it to the delegates to decide whether the presidency and deputy presidency should be contested at the party polls.
As a democrat, Zahid said, he was of the view that it should be up to the delegates to have a say on the type of democratic system Umno should adopt.
Zahid said he had been in favour of the top two posts being contested when he was named the president in 2018, despite the fact that it was decided at the 2017 Umno general assembly that there was no need for these posts to be contested.
He said this in response to calls from within the party for both posts to be contested during a talk that was streamed online this evening.
Zahid pointed out that there were several instances when posts were uncontested.
However, he recalled that when Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Abdullah Ahmad Badawi were at the helm of the party, the presidency was contested.
Zahid also said that during Najib Razak’s presidency, there were suggestions that the post be contested but it did not happen.
“As a democrat, I leave it to the party delegates to decide,” he said.
Umno leaders have been divided on whether both positions should be contested.
Sungai Besar Umno chief Jamal Yunos and Pasir Salak Umno deputy chief Khairul Azwan Harun were reported to have said that both posts should not be contested and that Zahid should be allowed to continue serving as the party president.
Former Supreme Council member Nazri Aziz is of the view that both posts should be contested in the spirit of democracy long practiced within the party.
Yesterday, party secretary-general Ahmad Maslan was reported as saying that the party’s Supreme Council had yet to decide whether both posts should be contested in the next general assembly.
We are live on Telegram, subscribe here for breaking news and the latest announcements.