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Najib declared new Umno president (Updated 4:07pm)

(Updated 4:07pm, 26 March 2009)

KUALA LUMPUR, 26 March 2009: Datuk Seri Najib Razak was declared the new Umno president at the 59th Umno general assembly, at Dewan Merdeka, Putra World Trade Centre today.

Umno permanent chairperson Tan Sri Onn Ismail made the declaration at the outset of the Umno General Assembly at the Dewan Merdeka, Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC) here.

Najib, 55, won the Umno presidency unopposed.

Outgoing Umno president Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, 69, in his last policy speech as party president, called on the members to give their solid support to enable Najib to take Malaysia to greater heights.

The prime minister, who pledged to give his undivided support to Najib as the new Umno president and prime minister, said he is handing over the national responsibility to Najib whom he described as “a younger leader who has the maturity and experience to navigate the nation to greater heights.”

Abdullah has held the post since October 2004.

Onn also declared Datuk Mohamad Aziz as the unopposed winner for the post of deputy permanent chair.

Voting for the party’s supreme council posts began at 12.45pm and ended at 3pm, followed by a short adjournment. The assembly resumed at 3.30pm for the debate session.

A total of 2,519 delegates are eligible to cast their votes to elect the deputy president, three vice-presidents, 25 supreme council members and the Umno permanent chairperson.

The deputy presidency is seeing a straight fight between Tan Sri Muhyiddin Mohd Yassin and Tan Sri Muhammad Muhd Taib.

Eight candidates are vying for the vice-presidency namely Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal, Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim, Tan Sri Mohd Isa Abdul Samad, Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar, Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin, Tan Sri Abdul Rahim Tamby Chik and Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein.

Forty-nine candidates are vying for the supreme council seats.

The contest for the permanent chairperson’s post is between Tan Sri Onn Ismail and Datuk Paduka Badruddin Amiruldin.

Outgoing Umno president Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi was the first to cast his votes followed by his deputy Datuk Seri Najib Razak and leaders of the three Umno wings and supreme council members. — Bernama


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