KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 31 — Barisan Nasional (BN) is set to name its candidates for the 15th general election (GE15) tomorrow night, a party leader confirmed.
Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin confirmed the matter to Malay Mail when contacted.
“Yes, yes. It’s tomorrow night,” he said in a short reply when contacted for confirmation.
BN's scheduled announcement at its party headquarters at 8.30pm tomorrow, comes amidst speculations that several Umno bigwigs may be dropped from the coalition's GE15 line-up.
Incumbent Arau MP Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim is being rumoured as one of those who would be dropped.
Shahidan took to his Facebook about an hour ago, posting a cryptic status, seemingly on his candidacy.
"Tonight is a night of immense sadness. All of BN's Arau parliamentary war rooms have been shuttered and the flags have been taken down. First time in history," his post read.
Malay Mail understands that incumbent Padang Besar MP Datuk Zahidi Zainul Abidin may also be axed from the line-up, but earlier today, he reportedly expressed his desire to defend the seat.
“I want to defend the seat but recently there were rumours that people from Kuala Lumpur are coming to contest in Padang Besar. But the Umno divisional committee is against fielding a parachute candidate.
“I will follow what the Umno divisional committee decides,” national news agency Bernama reported him saying.
Incumbent Ketereh MP Tan Sri Annuar Musa had on October 29, also stressed that he wants to defend the seat and would not contest should he be offered another constituency.
Bernama reported the Ketereh Umno division chief saying that he had been holding to the principle as he wants to serve in his birthplace. Annuar and Umno president Datuk Sri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had previously traded barbs on several occasions, subtly taking jabs at each other without naming either.
Sources also told Malay Mail that Tenggara incumbent Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba was also likely to miss the cut, but more could join the heap before the clear-out was over.
Ahmad Zahid had last Saturday warned “big headed” leaders in the party to finally realise that all they were and have was because of Umno.
While he had faced insubordination and challenges to his leadership as part of the factional politics in Umno, he holds the trump card at the moment as the party president responsible for endorsing the candidate list for GE15.
Even before the rumours, Ahmad Zahid had flexed his powers by expelling incumbent Pasir Salak MP Datuk Seri Tajuddin Abdul Rahman from the Umno supreme council and later suspending his membership for six years.
After some initial agitation, Tajuddin appears to have been brought to heel.