Bersatu will use Umno’s model to elect leaders for now, says Mukhriz

The Malaysian Insight

Bersatu deputy president Mukhriz Mahathir says the party will use an election system similar to that of Umno's for now due to logistical issues. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, July 13, 2019.

BERSATU is proposing to do away with its “one-member, one-vote system” for now and use the Umno model of electoral college system, said the party’s constitutional amendment committee chairman Mukhriz Mahathir.

In a recent briefing to party delegates in Shah Alam on the proposed constitutional amendments, Mukhriz said the current “one-member, one-vote system” was not practical to be used in the coming party polls due to logistical difficulties.

Bersatu is planning to hold an extraordinary general meeting on July 20 to amend its constitution, including on how the party polls should be conducted.

The party’s annual general meeting and party polls will be held later this year, after the constitutional amendments are approved by party delegates.

Mukhriz, who is the party deputy president, told the briefing for Selangor and Wilayah Persekutuan delegates that Bersatu would be using the Umno’s system but with some alterations.

“For the election of leaders, we will use the divisional voting system which is used by our old party (Umno) but we will improvise the system,” he told the delegates without explaining the specifics.

Under the divisional voting system, delegates from divisions can elect party leaders at the top level.

Mukhriz, however, explained that the more democratic one member, one vote system – which is practised by PKR – will eventually be implemented.

“We have to show to all Malaysians that Bersatu is truly a democratic party. We will eventually implement the one-member, one-vote system,” he said.

Bersatu constitutional amendment committee member Mohd Radzi Sheikh Ahmad, meanwhile, said the party was simply not ready to run concurrent elections for all divisions, states and top level using the one-member, one-vote system.

“For the time being, we will have to use the divisional elections as a system to elect our top leaders. The divisions will send their delegates who will then elect the top leaders.

“When our party becomes stronger, we can implement our own system,” said the former Umno secretary-general.

Bersatu was formed in 2016 and has yet to conduct its party elections. Its current crop of leaders were appointed to their positions.

It has been speculated that the polls will be postponed but party chairman Dr Mahathir Mohamad has rejected such claims.

Following the briefing for delegates in Shah Alam, the party will be holding four more briefings to explain to delegates on the reason for the constitutional amendments. – July 13, 2019.

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