If Ismail Sabri Yaakob becomes the next prime minister, then he should also be made the Umno president, said Khairy Jamaluddin.
The caretaker health minister also hinted at a possible alliance between him, Ismail Sabri and Hishammuddin Hussein with regard to the Umno election.
Ismail Sabri is the party vice-president while Hishammuddin is the former vice-president.
Asked if he would contest again for the president’s post, Khairy replied: “We will discuss when the time comes. I just said if Ismail Sabri is going to be prime minister, we should support him as the president of the party.”
“The other is for Hishammuddin and myself to have a discussion on who will go for number two,” he said in an interview with BFM.
Umno has postponed its elections to six months after the date of the general election.
Quizzed on whether he would join the cabinet if the coalition captures Putrajaya, Khairy said: “I will join the cabinet, yes…I will join Ismail Sabri’s cabinet.”
Asked if he would be willing to be part of Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s cabinet, Khairy reiterated: “I will join Ismail Sabri’s cabinet because he is our candidate for prime minister, no one else.”
Although Zahid has confirmed that Ismail Sabri is the coalition’s candidate for the top post and the latter himself has affirmed this on numerous occasions, it has failed to quell speculations.
Last night, the Umno president told reporters that he would leave it to the wisdom of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to decide on who would be the prime minister if BN wins.
He added that the Federal Constitution empowers the monarch to determine who leads the nation.
Zahid’s political rivals have claimed that he is gunning for the premiership in order to influence the outcome of his court cases, which the Umno president has denied.
Previously, Khairy, who announced that he wants to be Umno president and prime minister in the future, indicated that Zahid was attempting to kill his political career, leaving him with no option apart from contesting in the PKR stronghold of Sungai Buloh.
The son-in-law of former premier Abdullah Ahmad Badawi was forced to step aside from the Rembau seat in Negeri Sembilan, which he first won in the 2008 polls, for Umno number two Mohamad Hasan.
Khairy, who is banking on Malay support, including from PAS supporters to win the seat, is facing Pakatan Harapan’s R Ramanan in a seven-way tussle. – Malaysiakini