Najib: Despite Mukhriz's popular votes, UMNO abide by election rules

Najib: Despite Mukhriz's popular votes, UMNO abide by election rules
KUALA LUMPUR: UMNO has to abide by its own election rules eventhough Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir won slightly more in terms of popular votes, at 54,020, compared to Hishamuddin Tun Hussein’s 53,529.

Party president Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said that UMNO currently uses the electoral college system, a system deemed as the fairest.

“That was the system we chose, and we have to follow it,” he said, adding that the system balances the difference between small and bigger divisions.

On Saturday, Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal retained their vice-president posts while Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein narrowly won the third spot after a tight race with Mukhriz.

As at 1.40 am this morning, Hishammuddin received 100 votes and Mukhriz 91.
Commenting on the two, Najib remarked that the neck-to-neck competition was expected as both were popular leaders, and it also showed that the election was a healthy one.

“The election process is transparent and for sure, these two leaders would be among the popular ones and have their own support,” Najib told reporters in a press conference at his office in Putrajaya here this morning.

Najib added that while Mukhriz was a new candidate for the vice-presidency post, he has shown that he is well received by the party.

Meanwhile, Najib also said that UMNO does not necessarily need new faces to ensure transformation continues to occur.

Najib said what was important was the team's ability to implement the agenda for the good of the nation.

"The transformation process had started with amendments to the Federal Constitution. Transformation also means that we have a transformation agenda for the nation. The main question is, whether the team chosen by the grassroots is capable of implementing this agenda."

Najib said he believes that the new team is committed and is capable of translating the national transformation agenda into making Malaysia a developed nation.

"I believe, InsyaAllah (God willing), we can do this"

In the Umno elections yesterday, 146,500 delegates from 191 divisions voted based on the to elect the three vice-presidents of the party.

Each candidate among the top three in terms of the number of votes garnered received one vote each from a division.

On the combination of old and new leaders, Najib said as Umno president he had the power to appoint additional members to the Supreme Council and some of those to be appointed soon would reflect the wishes of the  people and party members.