KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 29 — Umno president Datuk Seri Najib Razak has denied claims that the Kedah Regency Council had rejected the list of candidates to replace Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir as Kedah mentri besar.

Najib, who is also prime minister, did not confirm speculation that three names had been submitted to the council as reported, but stated that their meeting “went smoothly”.

“No (rejection),” Najib told reporters when asked to confirm the matter after he chaired Umno’s supreme council meeting at the party headquarters here.

“There was no rejection. The meeting went smoothly,” he added.

Najib’s assertion today is the strongest indicator yet that speculation over Mukhriz’s inevitable ouster is true.

But the prime minister refused to confirm the matter today, telling the media to wait for his announcement instead, saying: “We will announce it later”.

When asked if the Umno supreme council was aware of the growing discord in the party's Kedah chapter, Najib said yes.

"We knew there was a problem but this was decided by the 14 division chiefs and when they decide, I as president have to acknowledge and consider," he said.

Najib was reported to have met the Kedah Regency Council here this morning to discuss the leadership crisis.

News portal Malaysiakini reported spotting the prime minister’s official car in the Kedah palace compound here.

Several dailies previously reported that a few Kedah Umno men have been slated as candidates to replace Mukhriz, namely: Kedah Umno deputy chairman Datuk Seri Ahmad Bashah Md Hanipah; Kedah state executive councillors Datuk Ku Abd Rahman Ku Ismail and Datuk Mohd Rawi Abdul Hamid.

Last week, Ahmad Bashah led a delegation of 14 Umno division chiefs, state and federal lawmakers to express their loss of confidence in Mukhriz, citing Mukhriz’s purported failures to govern the state and to unite the party, as well as his lack of strategy to face the next general elections due in 2018.

Source from Malaymail Online

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