KOTA BARU – Kelantan Umno is prepared for multi-cornered fights in its bid to wrest control of the state, having shortlisted 177 potential candidates including fresh faces, to contest in the 14th general election.
Kelantan Umno liaison committee chief Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said it has submitted three names for each of the 14 parliamentary and 45 state seats to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, also the Umno president, for further deliberation.
“We have suggested a healthy mix of old and new faces, including some from the Wanita and Puteri wings.
“We have shortlisted those who we believe can win the hearts of the people,” he said after chairing a Kelantan Umno liaison committee meeting on Sunday.
Although Kelantan Umno has prepared its list of potential candidates, discussions with division chiefs were still ongoing to resolve possible differences.
“Multi-cornered fights are inevitable,” said Mustapa.
“But in politics, anything is possible. Although PAS and PKR have severed ties, the situation could change in the run-up to the general election.
“We must be prepared for any eventuality, and must also be prepared to take on all other parties,” he added.
Kelantan will be one of the hot states to watch in the upcoming election, as PAS could be facing its splinter group Parti Amanah Negara, its former ally PKR, newcomer Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia, and traditional nemesis Umno.
PAS has been the dominant party in Kelantan over the last 27 years, but split votes could spring surprises.