Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Zahid ups the pressure on PM for early polls

He mentions the 15th general election 10 times throughout his policy speech at the Umno general assembly.

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Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi today upped the pressure on Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob to dissolve Parliament, mentioning the 15th general election (GE15) a total of 10 times throughout his policy speech at the party’s general assembly today.

He said Umno had the power to determine the party’s direction in facing GE15 although the dissolution of Parliament would be a Cabinet decision.

“What else are we waiting for? Dissolve Parliament,” he said at the World Trade Centre in Kuala Lumpur.

He maintained however that Umno was a party that upheld the constitution and understood that the authority to dissolve Parliament lay with the Cabinet and prime minister, who would seek the consent of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

Zahid’s speech today was in line with that of Umno deputy president Mohamad Hasan, who previously urged Ismail to dissolve Parliament immediately following Barisan Nasional’s (BN) victory at the Melaka and Johor state elections.

Ismail had said then that Umno could not overstep the authority of Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah in the matter.

‘Sleeping with the enemy’

In his speech, the Bagan Datuk MP said it was up to the prime minister whether to continue the memorandum of understanding with the opposition, which he described as “sleeping with the enemy”.

“This general assembly should hear the voice of the grassroots who want a new mandate through GE15,” he said.

“Don’t let thunder roar and lightning strike, but not a single drop of rain fall to the ground.”

Zahid also maintained that the Umno elections would only be held after GE15.

“This is not my decision,” he added. “This was decided during the delegates’ meetings at their respective divisions.”

He said it had been common practice for years for party elections to be held after the general election.

“Should we now change this tradition?”

Political observers previously said that Zahid wanted GE15 to be held before the Umno elections as part of efforts to save himself from the 47 criminal charges he currently faces.

Ismail is expected to challenge him for the position of president at the Umno polls which must be held before December.

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