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Umno hopes to form 'unity government' with 'any' Harapan party

Published:  |  Modified:

Umno is hoping to come back to power by forging a "unity government" with "any" party within Pakatan Harapan soon, said party president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

"We are open (to establishing a unity government) before or after Anwar Ibrahim becomes prime minister.

"Any discussion with any party will not have a set time frame or deadline as any decision must have the agreement of both sides.

"I need to respect the opinions of my colleagues in Umno and BN.

"However, the sooner the better," he said in an interview with the New Straits Times, which was published today.

According to the report, Zahid said this after being asked whether BN’s decision to boycott the Port Dickson by-election had to do with efforts to forge an alliance with PKR or Bersatu.

Umno MPs had previously endorsed Zahid to explore the possibility of forming a pact with other parties with the express purpose of moving out of the opposition bench.

This development also puts into question Umno's commitment to their informal relationship with PAS.

Umno had actively helped PAS during the Seri Setia by-election and sent their top leaders to PAS' annual delegates meeting two weeks earlier.

The report cited Zahid as saying that Umno was open to discussions with any party and would not "crawl" on its knees and beg for handouts.

"No, it does not mean that we will beg to meet them, but we have to be dynamic in determining any area where we are of the same mind, if there is any.

"There are methods (to form a unity government) that we have defined through various discussions, but the majority of members don't want us to become beggars because 'beggars can’t be choosers'," he said.

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