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As Zahid loses ground, a last-minute challenger could tilt the balance

Lu Wei Hoong  |  Published:  |  Modified:

Ahmad Zahid Hamidi's ground in the Umno election appears to be eroding despite no serious challenger emerging to battle him for the position of Umno president.

While there have been efforts to lobby Umno veteran Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah to throw his hat into the ring, only a relatively unknown blogger had declared his intention to contest against Zahid.

Since Najib Abdul Razak resigned as Umno president after leading BN to its first electoral defeat, paving way for his deputy to become the acting party president, Zahid has ruffled a few feathers.

In the north, Zahid did not back Perlis Umno chief Shahidan Kassim when the Perlis royal household rejected Ismail Kassim, the party's desired candidate for menteri besar, and opted for Azlan Man instead.

This led to Ismail lashing out at Zahid as a "weak leader".

In order to win, Zahid must win over a majority of the 191 Umno divisions nationwide.

The Umno election is similar to the US electoral college, where winning a majority of delegates within a division would see a candidate carry that particular division, which represents one vote.

The small size of Perlis Umno, which only has three divisions in the state, may mean that Zahid is less worried about upsetting them...

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