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Postponement of Umno party polls signifies next general election is near ¨C within 10 to 18 months

Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang  

(Parliament, Friday) :  The postponement of Umno party polls, scheduled for next year, to after the next general election signifies that the 12th general election is near ¨C and is likely to be held within 10 to 18 months.
Although Umno had twice previously postponed party polls until after the general election to avoid the fratricidal campaigns in the party, the decision of the Umno supreme council yesterday would be read as one of weakness and not of strength of  the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi as  Umno President.
This is because if there is Umno party election next year, Abdullah is expected to be  challenged as Umno President despite the great obstacle placed in the way of  any candidate to be nominated for the post as UMNO President, and that the battle will be even more ferocious than the Mahathir-Ghafar vs Razaleigh-Musa battle in 1987.
With the Umno party polls postponed, Abdullah will now be able to carry out ˇ°house-cleaningˇ± in  the next general election by dropping Umno stalwarts arrayed against him as candidates, whether parliamentary or state assembly.



*  Lim Kit Siang, Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission Chairman

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