Umno leader Nazri Abdul Aziz has claimed that party deputy president Mohamad Hasan is eyeing the position of prime minister – after the latter called for the 15th general election to be held without waiting any longer.
Nazri reportedly said that Mohamad was only thinking of himself when making the call, as the Umno deputy president is the next in line to be considered as the prime minister if BN wins the general election.
This comes as Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi is facing a slew of criminal charges in court, which hinders him from being a prime minister candidate.
“It is clear that right now, he (Mohamad) is only thinking of himself. He wants to contest for Parliament and if he wins, he wants to be prime minister – that is where his interests lie,” Nazri was quoted as saying by MalaysiaNow.
On Wednesday, Mohamad, who is also known as Tok Mat, had in his speech at the opening ceremony of Umno wings’ assemblies questioned government leaders who want to delay the 15th general election (GE15).
Mohamad also urged Umno to support the calls to speed up GE15, even though there have been objections from some Umno members.
According to the news report, Nazri also claimed that Umno would be seen as “putting the party over the people” if they named Mohamad as a prime minister instead of Zahid.
Throughout the years that BN was in federal power, it always held to the convention that the Umno president is to be BN chairperson by default, and also the rightful leader to hold the post of prime minister.
However, Zahid, who took over Umno leadership from former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak after the BN-led federal government collapsed in 2018, is facing multiple corruption-related charges in court.
While Umno has come back into power since last year, the court cases had prevented Zahid from leading the executive branch.
The task had to be given to Ismail Sabri Yaakob, one of Umno’s vice-presidents as Mohamad and two other Umno veeps are not MPs.
Meanwhile, Nazri also reportedly called Mohamad’s suggestion to dissolve Parliament early as “juvenile”.
He claimed that Mohamad “doesn’t understand the Constitution”, where the power to dissolve Parliament is in the hands of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.