Busy time ahead for Umno HQ

Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

PETALING JAYA - The Umno headquarters is preparing for an influx of aspiring party election candidates who will file their nomination papers on Sept 21.

Its executive secretary Datuk Rauf Yusoh said the one-day affair would see those planning to contest for positions in the supreme council and seats in the Youth, Wanita and Puteri movements submitting their nomination papers at Menara Dato Onn.

Candidates contesting for the divisional elections will send their papers to the state Umno offices on the same day.

"Based on talk within Umno circles, we believe there will be a big number of members who will be contesting for positions in the party. Most likely by the hundreds.

"The party headquarters has decided to accept nomination papers for the supreme council and the three wings because we do not want the state offices to be bogged down with paper work," he told The Star.

For the first time, the Umno leadership will be decided by some 150,000 members while posts within the Youth, Wanita and Puteri movements will be determined by each of the wings' 100,000 grassroots following amendments to the party constitution in line with Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak's political transformation initiatives.

This is in contrast with previous practices where the power to elect was in the hands of some 2,500 delegates at the Umno general assembly. The last time the party held an election was in 2009.

Rauf said the full list of candidates would be available a few days after the nomination papers had been submitted.

"We will also allow candidates to withdraw from the contest and will announce details to the media during a special briefing soon," he added.

Umno Youth, Wanita and Puteri wings will have their election on Oct 12 while the supreme council election has been slated for Oct 19.

The party's annual general assembly will be a six-day affair beginning Dec 2.