Early GE won’t necessarily benefit Umno, say analysts

While calls have arisen from within Umno for the prime minister to dissolve Parliament and pave the way for an early election, analysts warn that such a move might in fact backfire on the party which appears to be splitting apart.

(MalaysiaNow) – Speaking to MalaysiaNow, they said Umno should instead focus on resolving its leadership issues, to prevent conflicts from arising in its quest to obtain a two-thirds majority at the 15th general election (GE15).

Pressure for an election to be called ahead of the expiry of the current Parliament term could be seen as recently as Aug 27, when Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi reiterated at a special party briefing that GE15 should be held as soon as possible.

His remarks were in line with the stand of the Umno Supreme Council, the party’s highest decision-making body.

At the briefing, Umno members also expressed their dissatisfaction with the jailing of former prime minister Najib Razak, who began serving a 12-year prison sentence several days earlier, after the Federal Court upheld his conviction for the misappropriation of millions in SRC International funds.

Ahmad Atory Hussain of Universiti Sains Malaysia said Umno was not yet strong enough to face GE15 as it still had to reckon with the court cluster comprising former government leaders, including Zahid, who are facing criminal charges.

He said the situation would continue to tarnish the party’s name and could see Malay voters currently on the fence turning to alternative parties like PAS, Bersatu, Pejuang and Gerakan Tanah Air.

“Umno itself is breaking apart and the party’s direction is unclear,” he said.

“Umno needs to be strong enough to purge its leadership of the court cluster. Only then will it benefit if GE15 is held.”

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