The Umno appeals panel has unanimously rejected the appeal by Umno vice-president Datuk Mohd Ali Rustam against the decision to bar him from contesting in party elections next week.
Its chairman Tan Sri Mohd Zuki Kamaluddin said the panel upheld the Umno Disciplinary Board's decision to bar Mohd Ali him from contesting in the elections in line with Article 29(C) of the Umno constitution.
(Malaysiakini) The Umno appeals panel today rejected Malacca Chief Minister Mohd Ali Rustam's appeal to overturn the decision to bar him from contesting for the Umno deputy presidency.
According to Bernama, the panel made a unanimous decision on the matter.
Its chairperson, Mohd Zuki Kamaluddin, said the punishment meted out on Mohd Ali takes immediate effect.
Prior to the meeting, Zuki had said he believes that the disciplinary committee had taken all factors into consideration before making a decision.
With polling just five days away, the chief minister's only hope rests with the Umno supreme council, which has yet to hold its final meeting ahead of the March 26 party polls.
On Tuesday, Mohd Ali was barred from contesting by the Umno disciplinary committee for allegedly being involved in money politics through his agent.
Certain quarters alleged that it was a conspiracy to exclude Mohd Ali, who was tipped to be in the lead, in order to ensure victory for the preferred candidate Muhyiddin Yassin.
However, incoming Umno president Najib Abdul Razak, Muhyiddin and even Mohd Ali have dismissed this.
Mohd Ali is seen to be aligned to outgoing president Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.
Should the supreme council endorse the disciplinary committee's decision, observers say the backlash could tilt the scales in favour of Muhammad Muhd Taib, the other 'Abdullah camp' contender for the number two slot.
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