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COMMENT | Here's what could likely destroy Umno

COMMENT | Two questions need to be answered if we are to examine how Umno will do in the next elections - first, who will lead the party into elections and second who will be the prime minister-designate if Umno wins.

If Umno stands divided in these two areas, it will cost them heavily in the polls. The glaring differences between key leaders will considerably undermine the poor confidence that people already have in Umno and perhaps even destroy it.

In the first part of this article, we explained the posturing within Umno in the light of new revelations and how the party is divided from within. In this second part, we discuss some possible permutations that will shape Umno’s future.

Before we look at who is likely to be Umno’s prime minister-designate at the 15th general election (GE15), we need to know the outcome of a crucial decision to be made on July 16 - that of whether the Registrar of Societies, or ROS, will allow the postponement of Umno’s election.

The registrar told Bernama that the ROS will make a decision on whether Umno polls can be postponed under Umno’s constitution amended in May, by July 16. If the registrar does not agree, then Umno’s polls must be held before and not after GE15. And it must be held by Dec 30 this year.

A decision against the amendment will give prime minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob a perfect excuse to defend postponing elections to next year, at least to see who will be the leaders to take the party into the next elections.

Also, by the end of December, both Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s trial on multiple corruption charges and former PM and Umno president Najib Abdul Razak’s appeal against conviction of 12 years’ jail and RM210 million in fines on criminal charges related to 1MDB are likely to have been settled.

Most legal opinion is that under such circumstances, the results are likely to be negative for both Zahid and Najib because the cases against them are strong. The question that arises, if this happens, is who will contest the party polls in the absence of Zahid as...

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