Thursday, March 27, 2008

Umno supreme council endorses Ahmad as MB, sets December polls date

Umno supreme council endorses Ahmad as MB, sets December polls date - nstonline
By : NEWSDESK (Updated 7.46pm)

The Umno supreme council has agreed to endorse Datuk Ahmad Said's palace appointment as Terengganu Mentri Besar, ending the crisis which had set up a confrontation with the state palace. The meeting, which ended at 7.30pm, also shot down a proposal to defer party elections to next year by agreeing to a Dec 16-20 date, which is also when party's the annual general assembly takes place. Party president Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who chaired the meeting, made the announcement at a Press conference.

Idris, who also took part in the meeting, had been directed to accept the endorsement, he said.The priority now was for Ahmad to put together a State Exco line-up as soon as possible, Abdullah said, denying that decision to endorse Ahmad "humiliated" him and the party.

On Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah's proposal to hold a party extraordinary general meeting on May 11, Abdullah said the issue did not come up for discussion.However, Razaleigh's challenge for the Umno presidency was discussed. "I'm willing to accept any challenges to the presidency," Abdullah said.

Party elections will begin with branch and divisional polls beginning July 17.

The meeting lasted four and a half hours after starting at 3pm. This is the first supreme council meeting after the March 8 polls debacle where the party lost control of Kedah, Perak and Selangor and saw the defeat of several stalwarts. Tension is uneasy outside the meeting room where as many as 100 members are milling about. Before the meeting, NST reporters covering the meeting witnessed supreme council members walking in silently after 2pm. No one offered a remark to the Press. Just before 3pm, Umno president Datuk Seri Abdullah Badawi and his deputy Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak appeared on the 38th floor where the supreme council is meeting, smiling and acknowledging the presence of the media representatives. The two also walked into the meeting room without saying anything.

Meanwhile, while the supreme council commenced, Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah held a meeting of his own with representatives from 51 Umno divisions at his palatial home here off Jalan Tun Razak. Among those who attended were former Information Minister Datuk Abdul Kadir Sheikh Fadzir, Datuk Dr Ibrahim Saad and Datuk Malek Hanafiah. According to an aide, Tengku Razaleigh indicated that he will give a Press conference once he is briefed on what transpired in the supreme council meeting. The aide also said during the meeting with the 51 representatives, Tengku Razaleigh expressed his concern with the state of affairs in the party and the country, and that was why he proposed the May 11 Umno EGM.In return, the representatives expressed their support for Tengku Razaleigh's push for the EGM, the aide said. – MORE

Malaysian leader says he's willing to face leadership challenge as party postpones polls -AP via Yahoo! News
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia - Malaysia's prime minister backed down in a high-profile dispute with the king and postponed party elections Thursday, but insisted he was not running away from rivals challenging his leadership.
The two announcements by Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi revealed his increasingly shaky hold over power after leading the ruling party to humiliating losses in the March 8 general elections.
"If they (rivals within his party) have the support and are ready to challenge me, why not? Go ahead. I'm not going to run away," Abdullah said after chairing a meeting of the United Malays National Organization party's policy-making council. --- MORE

Malaysia's PM faces leadership election after poll losses - AFP via MSN News
Malaysia's ruling party Thursday decided to hold a leadership election in December, with Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi vowing to fight to stay on as party chief.
Abdullah has been battling for his political life since disastrous results in March 8 general elections by the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), which leads the Barisan Nasional coalition.
"We will have elections to select the party leadership," Abdullah, who is UMNO president, said after chairing a meeting of the party's top decision-making body.
"The date that has been set is from the 16th to 20th December," he said, adding that "if they (possible candidates vying for his post) have the support and are ready to challenge me... why not? Go ahead, I am not going to run away."
The elections will also cover other posts within the party. --- MORE

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