Crowded field for Umno vice-president posts

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At least seven candidates are expected to contest for the three Umno vice-president posts in the coming party elections, a New Straits Times report says today.

Apart from incumbent Mohamed Khaled Nordin, the others vying for the posts include Supreme Council members Zambry Abdul Kadir, Azalina Othman Said and Johari Abdul Ghani and Umno Youth chief Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki.

Former Johor menteri besar Hasni Mohammad and Sabah Umno chief Bung Moktar Radin are also said to be joining the fray.

The report also said the other two incumbents – Ismail Sabri Yaakob and Mahdzir Khalid – have expressed a desire to defend their posts.

Umno polls are set to be held on March 18. The party has also decided that there will not be a challenge for the president’s and deputy president’s posts.

This means that Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and Mohamad Hasan will retain the posts for another term.

The report quoted party insiders as saying that Zambry, Azalina and Asyraf are from the president’s camp.

Johari has been described as a wild card who enjoys strong support in the party, especially after winning the Titiwangsa parliamentary seat in the recent general election.

“Zambry, Azalina and Asyraf are the only known pro-president candidates in the party,” a source was quoted as saying.

“Khaled is expected to defend his post successfully, given his good ties with party leaders and supporters.

“Johari is close to the party president. He is one of the leaders whom Zahid will take advice from.

“More importantly, Johari has been meticulous in garnering support on the ground.

“He has told his supporters that change (for the better) will happen in Umno and he is preparing for it.” – TMI