LONDON, June 12 — It’s official. Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said that he will not challenge Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi for the top post in Umno.
His statement will have a significant impact on the political alignment in Umno ahead of the party election in December. But it will not end calls for Abdullah to hand over power to Najib not too long after the polls, possibly by the third quarter of 2009.
“I have some options but I am a true party man. Transfer of power should be done in the most traditional way,” he said, noting that a challenge for the leadership in the party could further weaken Umno.