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The meeting scheduled for 8pm is expected to include all 38 of the party’s parliamentarians. ― Picture by Hari Anggara
The meeting scheduled for 8pm is expected to include all 38 of the party’s parliamentarians. ― Picture by Hari Anggara

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KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 17 — Umno federal lawmakers will meet at their party headquarters tonight, believed to be for discussions on their candidate to be the next prime minister that must be submitted tomorrow.

The meeting scheduled for 8pm is expected to include all 38 of the party’s parliamentarians.

Malay Mail was informed that Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob was racing against time to secure the support of all his party’s lawmakers to be their nominee for the post.

However, an internal source said that 10 of the 15 MPs who rejected Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin have so far refused to back Ismail Sabri, Muhyiddin’s deputy prior to the former’s resignation yesterday.

Earlier today, Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun also instructed all MPs to submit their choice for the next prime minister, in the form of statutory declarations (SDs) by 4pm tomorrow.

“There are 10 MPs who have refused to sign the SDs backing Ismail Sabri. They are known as the ‘G10’,” the source said.

The campaign to secure the SDs for Ismail Sabri was already underway on Sunday, before Muhyiddin officially resigned.

The matter was revealed by Umno’s Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz, who both confirmed signing an SD endorsing Ismail Sabri and urged his party’s lawmakers to rally behind the vice-president.

According to party veteran Tan Sri Shahrir Abdul Samad, Umno has now split into three factions, with one each behind Ismail Sabri, president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, and Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein.

Yesterday, Ahmad Zahid appeared to have withheld the endorsement for Ismail Sabri when he said Umno was considering “several candidates” to be the next prime minister.

Analysts previously told Malay Mail that some within Umno would view Ismail Sabri with suspicion as he had stood with Muhyiddin and Perikatan Nasional prior to its collapse yesterday.

Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah had summoned the various political party leaders for an audience at Istana Negara today to discuss, among other things, the matter of the next prime minister.

Muhyiddin resigned as Malaysia’s 8th prime minister yesterday and was later appointed in a caretaker position until a suitable candidate for the job can be determined.

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