Umno not the same as Parliament, Zahid defends delaying party polls

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PETALING JAYA: Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has defended pushing back the Umno party elections, saying that it is not the same as postponing the Parliament special sitting.The party president said that Umno has 3.3 million members and to hold an election of that scale virtually due to existing Covid-19 restrictions could cause a high rate of technical problems like Internet issues in rural areas.

“The postponement of Umno elections cannot be compared with the postponement of the Parliament session, because it involves 66,287 meetings.

“There are also 3.3 million members, which consists of 21,135 branch level meetings, 21,058 Wanita Wing meetings, 15,496 Youth Wing meetings, and 8,598 Puteri wing meetings,” he said in a statement on Facebook on Sunday (Aug 8).

Ahmad Zahid also said 764 meetings will take place across 191 divisions involving the party’s main body and three wings.

“The Parliament sitting can be continued with strict SOPs that can be easily monitored and enforced,” he said.

Ahmad Zahid questioned the motive behind the recent announcement by the Registrar of Societies (ROS) asking Umno to submit a fresh application to defer its elections along with fixed dates for the polls.

“Therefore, we are concerned if the latest development is just a desperate move by the Perikatan Nasional government to pressure Umno,” he said.

On Friday (Aug 6), ROS had said that the decision by Umno’s supreme council to postpone party polls for 18 months on July 7 was invalid, adding that ROS had found “irregularities” in the decision.

Ahmad Zahid said that Umno would not accept the ROS’ demands for the party to hold its elections this year.

He also questioned whether the ROS’ move was supported by Barisan Nasional MPs who recently announced their backing for the Perikatan government until the confidence vote due to be held when Parliament reconvenes next month.

“I’m urging them to open their (the BN MPs) eyes and repent to the true political struggles for the people and the country,” he added.

The ROS announcement on the postponement came amidst heightened tensions between Ahmad Zahid and the BN MPs friendly with Perikatan.

More developments are expected to unfold in Umno, as a letter sent to all its MPs threatening disciplinary action unless they state in writing that they withdraw support for the Perikatan government and Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

Umno not the same as Parliament, Zahid defends delaying party polls

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