KUALA LUMPUR: Umno should not close the doors to democracy by barring the top two posts from being contested, said Supreme Council member Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani today.
He said Umno must let members decide whom they want to lead the party.
“This is because it (the party) is a training ground.
“The culture of not allowing contests (for the top two posts) cannot be allowed anymore.
“Although there are people who say they (agree to this), but in their hearts, they don’t want to.
“Before the 15th General Election (GE15), we postponed (the party polls) for 18 months, and then we postponed them for another six months after GE15.
“Look at PKR, DAP and Pas. They continued with their elections first and look what happened.
“They (Pakatan Harapan) won 82 seats, and a party in Perikatan Nasional obtained 49 of the 74 seats it contested.”
Johari said this at an Umno general assembly exclusive talk show aired on Umno Online’s Facebook page.
He said this in a response to an event yesterday 140 Umno division heads said they didn’t want a contest for the president’s post at the party polls, which must be held before May 19.
The post is now held by Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
Wangsa Maju Umno chief Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Shafie Abdullah said the division heads also agreed that the deputy president’s position should not be contested.
He said Umno’s focus should be on strengthening the party to face the six state elections this year.
Wanita Umno chief Datuk Seri Dr Noraini Ahmad also supported the proposal at the launch of the Wanita Umno delegates’ conference today, saying it would provide room for leaders to strengthen the party.
Johari said there wouldn’t be any problem contesting the two posts, as long as contestants were sincere and did not resort to money politics.
“Let’s learn to vote without being forced by anyone.
“If a person wins, continue (to serve), and if the next time you don’t win, let someone else lead, because leaders come and go,” said Johari, who is Titiwangsa member of parliament.
When asked by the programme host whether he would contest the polls, he said he would challenge for one of the top three posts .
“We will have to wait. When the party polls are announced, then I will decide whether to go for the president, deputy president or vice-president’s post.
“We need to keep democracy alive in the party. We have to do this before we face the 2027 general election.”
He contested one of three vice-president’s posts in the last election, but was not successful.
Source : NST