Duo backed by Najib sweep Umno polls

Wins by Youth and Women's chiefs, but incumbent V-Ps face stiffer test

(From left) Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin, Women's wing chief Shahrizat Abdul Jalil and new face Mas Ermieyati Samsudin celebrating after the unofficial results of Umno's party polls on Saturday. -- PHOTO: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

TWO incumbent leaders backed by Umno president Najib Razak won resounding victories in party polls over the weekend, their large margins crushing talk of his losing ground to other factions.

Still, analysts warned that it is too early to say if this will consolidate the positions of the incumbent vice-presidents, as they face a greater challenge at their elections this weekend.

"Considering that Najib did worse than (former premier) Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in the May elections, he must ensure his faction dominates in the party elections," said Professor Faisal Hazis of Universiti Malaysia Sarawak.

In official results tweeted by the Utusan Online news portal, Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin, seen as a progressive leader, won 189 out of a total of 191 divisional votes, or 99 per cent.