Ismail should challenge Zahid for Umno presidency, says KJ

Khairy Jamaluddin believes that Ismail Sabri Yaakob should challenge Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi for the party’s top post if he is made prime minister again after Saturday’s general election.

(FMT) – Asked during an interview with BFM if he would run for the post of Umno president at the party’s next election, which will be held no later than six months after GE15, the former Umno Youth chief said he would cross that bridge “when the time comes”.

“I think if, as I said, Ismail is going to be the prime minister, we should support him to be the party’s president,” he said.

“And others, Hisham (Hishammuddin Hussein), myself, will have to have a discussion about who will go for No 2 (deputy president).”

Ismail is currently one of the three Umno vice-presidents.

Khairy, who is Barisan Nasional’s candidate for the Sungai Buloh parliamentary seat, previously contested the Umno president’s post for the 2018-2021 term but lost after coming in second to Zahid.

Zahid secured 99 votes while Khairy received 61. Party veteran Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah finished third with 30 votes.

In July, the Registrar of Societies approved Umno’s application to amend its constitution and postpone its party election for up to six months after a general election, or up to 18 months from the end of its leadership’s term, whichever comes later.

Commenting on the matter then, Umno secretary-general Ahmad Maslan said the party would hold its election no later than six months after GE15.

The election was supposed to have been held in 2020 but was postponed because of the movement control order.