Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Saarani Mohammad is pictured at ‘Program Mesra Hari Bertemu Pelanggan’ in Selinsing, Perak October 11, 2022. — Picture by Farhan Najib
SELINSING, Oct 11 — Perak Umno currently has 126 potential candidates to field for both parliamentary and state seats in the coming elections, its chairman Datuk Seri Saarani Mohammad said today.
He added that the name list includes incumbents like Pasir Salak MP Datuk Seri Tajuddin Abdul Rahman and Padang Rengas MP Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz, as well as newcomers, but was yet to be finalised.
“The decision on who will be the candidate for the party in the GE15 will be decided by the Umno’s ‘top five’. Each candidate will be vetted thoroughly before they were given the responsibility.
“Only after that I can announce who are the new faces to contest under Umno in Perak,” he told reporters at Program Mesra Hari Bertemu Pelanggan here.
Saarani, who is also Perak mentri besar, said that names of the candidates were suggested by all Umno division committees in the state.
He also confirmed his name as one of the potential candidates for the Kota Tampan state seat where he is its incumbent.
He demurred when asked if he was interested in running for a parliamentary seat, saying he would leave it for others.
Asked about incumbent Tajuddin who made an early claim to defend the parliamentary seat, Saarani replied: “We will follow what the secretary-general says”.
Perak has a total of 24 parliamentary seats, with Umno holding seven and its Barisan Nasional partner MIC, holding one other.
There are 59 state seats in Perak, with Umno controlling 29.
Tajuddin made a bid to defend Pasir Salak in the 15th general election last month, pre-empting the official endorsement of Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
Tajuddin, whom Ahmad Zahid sacked from the party’s supreme council in June, insisted he had the undivided support of the Pasir Salak Umno division.
Saarani was also asked about incumbent Padang Rengas MP Nazri who has previously made public his intention not to defend his seat.
He confirmed Nazri’s name is still on the potential candidates list.”As I said before, all the names of the incumbents are in the list. All their names will be referred to the Umno’s ‘top five’. They will decide. But we are not sure if they will contest or not,” Saarani said.
He added that there were other incumbents, apart from Tajuddin and Nazri, who had declined to defend their seats but refused to name them.