Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Umno elections: It's over for Ali Rustam
Mohd Ali Rustam (left) is out of the Umno race for the deputy president post. He has been found guilty by the Umno disciplinary board. There is however no suspension on the Malacca Chief Minister despite being found guilty of breaking election rules. His political secretary Saadun Basirun was suspended for three years.
The race is now a straight fight between between Muhyiddin Yassin and Muhammad Muhd Taib. The question now is whether supporters of Rustam would throw their support for Muhyiddin as the race enters the last lap. Muhd Taib has reportedly told the press and members that he has no intention of pulling out. Just weeks ago, Umno delegates were expecting a photo finish between Rustam and Muhyiddin.
As speculation broke out in the last 48 hours of the board's decision, there was talk of resistance from Rustam but the likelihood is that Rustam would not go against the party leadership. He risked losing the Chief Minister's position if he pushes too far. With the disciplinary board decision, his image has already been dented. Although he has not been suspended from the party, his political career would now be written off.
The other big name was Umno Youth chief aspirant Khairy Jamaluddin, who was let off with a warning. He is still in the fight with Khir Toyo and Mukhriz Mahathir.