Kuala Lumpur, Sep 22: Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak retained his party chief’s post uncontested Saturday, ending speculations that he might face a leadership challenge after the general elections in May.
As the nominations for the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) party’s election, due next month, closed Saturday, Najib emerged as the only candidate for the presidency, Xinhua reported.
Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassim, also retained the post as party’s deputy president uncontested.
Najib and Muhyiddin nominated each other to defend the current posts to show unity among them, despite earlier speculations that Muhyiddin would launch a bid for top job.
Najib took over as UMNO president and prime minister in 2009 after his predecessor Abdullah Ahmad Badawi bowed to pressure within the party to step down following a poor performance in the 2008 general election.
The ruling coalition, under the leadership of Najib, failed to improve in the May election as it retained power with a reduced majority, but UMNO emerged as a big winner after securing nine more seats than the previous election.