KUALA LUMPUR, 31 Oct 2008: The Umno annual general assembly (AGM) and party elections will take place from 24 to 28 March 2009.
The announcement ends speculation that the party polls would be brought forward to December following complaints of a lengthy campaign period.
The supreme council had initially decided on 26 Sept to hold the elections in March, when Umno president Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi would hand over the premiership to Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
“This is a decision made a while ago to postpone this year’s meeting to March next year,” Abdullah said at a press conference after the Umno supreme council meeting this evening.
On curbing money politics, he said the Umno headquarters will organise special functions for all candidates in the election to meet with delegates in each state.
“Anyone running for the supreme council posts can go to the functions to meet [with delegates]. No other functions would be organised,” he said.
“No other opportunity will be given to candidates besides this.
“It is necessary for candidates to avoid campaigning,” he said, alluding to allegations of money politics.
The supreme council also issued a warning to agents and lobbyists working for candidates to stop fishing for votes or face the consequences.
“Reports show that a lot of agents and lobbyists have been visiting the various states trying to persuade delegates to vote for a particular candidate.
“I warn these people to go back…go back before they are detected by our scouts,” Abdullah said.
He also advised candidates to stop using government machinery to garner votes for individual purposes, and warned against spreading slanderous rumours using SMS.
The supreme council also warned members to refer to the party’s code of ethics.
“Any member found to have breached the code of ethics will face stern action,” Abdullah said.