PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Former Malaysian deputy prime minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi will be gunning for Umno's top post in the upcoming party polls.
His press secretary Maj-Gen Fadzlette Othman Merican said Datuk Seri Zahid, who is the acting Umno president, has registered to contest for the post.
"Datuk Seri had filled up all the forms on Friday (June 1) to contest the presidency post," she said when contacted.
Former prime minister Najib Razak resigned as president of the Malay nationalist party after his Barisan Nasional coalition lost in the May 9 general election.
But it was unclear if Umno vice-president Hishammuddin Hussein, who is now the de-facto number two in the party, has decided to contest any post, according to one of his aides who declined to be named.
Datuk Seri Hishammuddin has taken on the duties of the Umno deputy president after Mr Najib stepped down as president on May 12.
Mr Hishammuddin is in Mecca to perform a umrah (mini pilgrimage).
Former Negeri Sembilan menteri besar and Umno's state chief Mohamad Hasan, has announced his intention to contest the deputy president's post.
Umno's internal party election is expected to be held next year.
It will see all top posts open for contest, after this was agreed upon by the Umno supreme council on May 22.
This decision meant that the previous motion of no-contest for the party's top two posts, namely president and deputy president, that was passed by the Umno general assembly in December last year has been nullified.
Nominations for the Umno party elections are open from June 1 to 17.
The three vice-president posts will have several contenders. Several leaders have expressed their intention to contest including former Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin, Perak MP Tajuddin Abdul Rahman, and former second finance minister Johari Abdul Ghani.
Mr Khairy's announcement to contest the V-P post puts to rest speculation that he might be gunning for the Umno presidency or deputy presidency.
Meanwhile, Umno Youth's deputy chief Azwan Harun said he plans to contest in the coming party elections and take over Mr Khairy's post.