KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 26- The candidates list for Umno’s polls next month will only be finalised on Oct 7.
Umno Elections Committtee chairman Tan Sri Tajol Rosli Ghazali today only announced the list of 269 candidates who withdrew their candidacy, out of the 34,211 members who had registered as candidates for the party’s Supreme Council and respective states, last Saturday.
The announcement was made at Umno’s headquarters at the Putra World Trade Centre here, following the completion of the 72-hour cooling off period to enable withdrawal of candidacy.
After this, the remaining 33,942 candidates listed will undergo a vetting process involving among others the Insolvency Department, Malaysian Anti-Corruption Comission, the Police and the Judiciary.
The 33,942 candidates are vying for posts at the central and divisional levels apart from Umno’s three wings – Youth, Wanita and Puteri.
The step is aimed at detecting those who might be disqualified on account that they have been declared bankrupt, or are involved in corruption, court or criminal cases.
Polling for Umno’s Youth, Wanita and Puteri wings both at the divisonal and central level will be held on Oct 12 while for the divisions and the Supreme Council on Oct 19.
At the central level (including for the three wings), only one out of the 261 candidates withdrew candidacy.
The person was Wanita Umno Information chief Datuk Hamidah Osman who had registered to contest the Number 2 post in the wing.
At the divisional level (including the three wings), 268 candidates out the 33,950 who registered withdrew.
Following this latest developments, the race for the three vice president posts remains a six-corner fight, Youth chief (five-corner) Wanita head (three-corner) and Puteri chief (straight fight).
On close of nominations on Saturday, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin won uncontested the Umno president and deputy president posts respectively.
So far, for the three vice president posts, the incumbents Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein and Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal are being challenged by Tan Sri Mohd Isa Abdul Samad, Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam and Datuk Mukhriz Tun Dr Mahathir.
For the Youth chief post, incumbent Khairy Jamaluddin is being challenged by Akhramsyah Sanusi, Karim Ali, Syed Rosli Syed Harman and Irwan Ambak Khalid Izhar.
Wanita chief Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, meanwhile, will be up against Datuk Maznah Mazlan and Raihan Sulaiman Palestin while two new faces, Mas Ermieyati Samsudin and Jamilah Hanim Othman, are vying for the Puteri chief post.
Tajol Rosli said at the state level, the committee received 33,950 nomination forms, with Sabah having the highest, at 4,453.
This was followed by Johor (4,250), Selangor (4,035), Perak (3,983), Kedah (2,848), Pahang (2,628), Kelantan (2,595), Wilayah Persekutuan (2,123), Pulau Pinang (1,960), Terengganu (1,540), Negeri Sembilan (1,436), Melaka (1,193) and Perlis (638).
Those who withdrew were 37 candidates from Selangor, Perak (35), Pulau Pinang (32), Kelantan (30), Negeri Sembilan and Pahang (29 each), Wilayah Persekutuan (19), Melaka (17), Kedah (16), Terengganu (15), Sabah (6), Perlis (2) and one from Johor.
For the first time, this Umno polls will see 146,500 delegates casting their votes following amendments to the party constitution in 2009, unlike before when about 2,500 delegates chose Umno’s top leadership.
The step was taken to combat money politics and to make the party more inclusive.