PETALING JAYA, Malaysia - The political temperature is set to rise as the 100-day countdown begins for four major political parties ending the year with heated elections.
Umno and MCA, the Barisan Nasional's two largest component parties are set to hold their party elections on Oct 19 and Dec 21 respectively.
For the Opposition, the DAP will be conducting its election for office bearers on Sept 29 while PAS will elect its office bearers on Nov 22.
The main focus will be on the Umno polls following the 13th general election which saw Barisan losing some seats but Umno gaining ground due to stronger support from Malay voters.
With no indication so far of a challenge to the two top positions held by president Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and his deputy Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, the focus is on the five-way race for the party's three vice-presidential positions currently held by Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal.
Former Malacca Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam and former Negri Sembilan Mentri Besar Tan Sri Mohd Isa Abdul Samad are joining the fray for the vice-presidency.
The biggest change is expected in the line-up for the supreme council, the party's highest decision making body as a number of incumbents, including several mentris besar, have indicated that they would not be defending their positions to concentrate on the government or state positions.
The election would be the first to use a new voting system to make the selection of leaders a more inclusive affair with the number of voters increased from 2,500 to about 150,000.