Umno secretary-general Ahmad Maslan says Ismail Sabri Yaakob is the best choice for the party as the prime minister candidate.
This is because party president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had withdrawn from being nominated during the Umno Supreme Council meeting.
“The president withdrew from being nominated,” he said after a three-hour meeting with PAS leaders at World Trade Centre Kuala Lumpur.
Ahmad said even though Umno deputy president Mohamad Hasan fits the criteria, he is an assemblyman, not an MP.
“The third (in line) is Ismail. He has the most experience, he was the senior minister and deputy prime minister,” he said.
Earlier, Umno leaders, including former prime minister Najib Razak, and PAS leaders had a closed-door meeting.
It came after Umno named Ismail as its prime minister candidate last night.
Other than Najib, the meeting was also attended by Mohamad Hasan, Umno Youth chief Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki and Pengerang MP Azalina Othman Said.
The PAS leaders at the meeting were deputy president Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man, Kuala Nerus MP Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali and PAS vice-president Idris Ahmad.
PAS secretary-general Takiyuddin Hassan, who was also at the meeting, left earlier.
Tuan Ibrahim said all 18 PAS MPs backed Ismail as the prime ministerial candidate.
“PAS supports fully,” he told reporters.
He added that only one name had been agreed upon and will be submitted to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong. – FMT