UMNO is focused on wrestling back the seats it lost to Bersatu and Perikatan Nasional (PN) in the last general elections, said UMNO president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
However, the party also has less chance of winning the Kemaman seat from the PAS.
“Of course, UMNO and Barisan Nasional (BN) viewed the latest development (Bersatu MPs supporting Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim) as something good, but UMNO will focus on wresting back the seats if we were to take the latest political development as the foundation for us in moving forward,” he told a press conference after opening the Kedah UMNO political bureau’s retreat today.
Zahid is of the opinion that UMNO has a good chance of recapturing the seats lost to Bersatu in the next general election since the UMNO-BN candidates were runner-ups in the 15th General Election (GE15).
Meanwhile, the preparations for the by-election in Kemaman, Terengganu are ongoing for both the PAS and UMNO.
While the PAS is aiming to win the Kemaman parliamentary by-election by a majority of 30,000, UMNO stated that it is trying to reduce the current 22,000 majority won by the Islamic party in November 2022.
“This election is unnecessary but UMNO was crazy enough to file a petition, despite knowing it would lose the by-election.
“From a majority of 27,000 in the GE15, we will ensure it goes up to 30,000 this time around,” said Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor during the launch of the party’s election machinery in the constituency.
On the other hand, Zahid pointed out that UMNO’s candidate for the Kemaman by-election could be someone from outside the party hierarchy.
“We have tried this direct candidate without taking into account hierarchy in the party (the candidate’s position in UMNO) and it was well accepted. Thus, there is a huge possibility that we are adopting a similar approach for the Kemaman by-election.”
Last week, former Terengganu UMNO chief Datuk Seri Ahmad Said confirmed that he was not vying for Kemaman again.
UMNO is expected to introduce its candidate for the Kemaman by-election this Monday (Nov 13), ahead of the nomination day on Nov 18.
The Kemaman by-election has been called after the Terengganu Election Court annulled Kemaman MP Che Alias Hamid’s victory. – Nov 12, 2023
Main photo credit: Harian Metro