KUALA LUMPUR – UMNO’s elections, scheduled for next year, will be postponed by 18 months to allow the party to focus on serving the people and strengthening the party.
UMNO president Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said the UMNO Supreme Council (MT) decided on the matter in accordance to Article 10.16 of the party constitution, which entitles elections at the MT, division and branch levels.
“The postponement shall not exceed 18 months from the scheduled date.
“The MT believes that it is vital that we give priority to the people’s interests,” he said.
He was speaking to reporters after chairing a MT meeting at Menara Dato’ Onn, in the capital, Friday.
Also present were UMNO deputy president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and vice-presidents Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein and Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal.
The prime minister said the postponement was also to focus on strengthening the party and any other work that should be done so that UMNO and Barisan Nasional (BN) component parties would be stronger to face the coming election.
Najib said the decision was not unusual because it had been made during the leadership of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.
“This does not mean that UMNO is not a democratic party, but when the right time comes, we will conduct the elections,” he said.
He said the MT decided to seek for more suitable election methods from all quarters.
“We have received opinions, weaknesses during the last elections, but we still retain the principle of democracy,” he said.
Najib also urged UMNO members to carry out work at the grassroot level based on the key performance indicators that had been set by the party.