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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Sahrizat Confirms Going For Wanita Umno Top Post

Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil Wednesday announced that she would contest the post of Wanita Umno chief at the party elections in March next year.

The announcement ended speculation as to whether Shahrizat, the movement's vice-head, would abide by the power transition plan of Wanita Umno chief Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz to hand over the post to her (Shahrizat) next June or contest the No.1 post in the party elections.

The two-paragraph announcement by Shahrizat confirmed a Bernama report on Tuesday that she would decide to contest the top post and announce the decision today.

"Wanita Umno must be united in strengthening the party and be bold in bringing about change and renewal," she said.

Shahrizat has received 73 nominations to contest the post of Wanita Umno chief. Incumbent Rafidah has garnered 117 nominations.

Shahrizat's decision puts paid to Rafidah's power transition plan which had received opposition from many Wanita Umno leaders who wanted Rafidah to hand over the leadership to Shahrizat in March in line with the power transition plan of the parent body, Umno.

Shahrizat's decision to go for the top post was also prompted by the announcement of Wanita Umno executive committee member Datuk Kamilia Ibrahim to contest the post of vice-head which Shahrizat has held since 2000.

Kamilia had said repeatedly that she did not agree with the plan for power transition in June as it was contrary to the Umno constitution.

Rafidah had helmed Wanita Umno since 1984 except for one term when she was defeated by Datuk Dr Siti Zaharah Sulaiman. Rafidah recaptured the post from Dr Siti Zaharah in the 2000 party elections.

Rafidah first announced the power transition plan in August this year and the Wanita Umno executive committee, at its meeting last week, reaffirmed its support for the plan and dismissed Shahrizat's call a day earlier for the Wanita Umno power transition plan to be in tandem with the Umno power transition plan-BERNAMA.

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