Zahid counters Ismail on the constitutionality of no-contest vote

UMNO president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has refuted former premier Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s claimed that the no-contest motion passed at the party’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) yesterday (Jan 14) was unconstitutional.

He acknowledged that some people had questioned the legality of the no-contest decision and stated that the matter had been referred to the party’s lawyers.

“After it was passed, I checked with our lawyer, who said that everything is under Umno’s constitution and regulations.

“So (the decision) should not be an issue, as everything is according to the constitution,” he said to the media at the end of Umno’s AGM yesterday.

However, on his Twitter account today, Ismail insisted that there should be a contest for the top posts, adding that the no-contest motion will push the youth away from UMNO.

“In the debate (during the AGM) we raised a lot of questions to restore the trust of young people in us.

“But young people with high idealism, who talk about fundamental rights, democracy and so on, of course, see what we are doing (that goes) against their idealism.

“They want a party that is open tom, for example, giving freedom for the right to contest (the top posts in Umno), he wrote.

The tweet is accompanied by a clip of the video of the press conference that he gave after the AGM.

“So, the two highest positions are not contested, it will further reduce the trust of young people in the openness of UMNO which will restrict their interest in us. That is worrying,” he added.

He probably posted a clip of the video today on Twitter in response to his president, Zahid, who voiced his concerns about members who would go against the decision by the delegates.

When asked at the press conference yesterday about what would happen if some party members insisted on a presidential and vice presidential election, Zahid said the matter would be referred to the disciplinary board.

Nevertheless, netizens are replying to Ismail on his Twitter account, with some saying it is too late for the ex-PM to voice his grudges now.

User @safwansanus1 replied to Ismail:

They add that when he had the power within his grip, he did not use it to bring effective change to the party.

Another user, @codename202 wrote:

“Don’t worry about the youth. Worry about the direction of UMNO. There are 10 Malay parties and if all of them think they want to capture the hearts of young people, the party’s struggle will be thrown in disaray.

“Prioritize the struggle of the party, not the young or the old. The people will follow whichever way that is based on the party’s struggle and policy.” — Jan 15, 2023


Main photo credit: Bernama

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