Mukhriz Mahathir, the 48-year-old son of Malaysia's longest-serving prime minister, will on Saturday contest the vice presidency of the country's biggest political party, staking his claim as a potential future national leader.
The United Malays National Organisation, or UMNO, which has led coalitions to govern Southeast Asia's third-biggest economy since independence from Britain in 1957, will elect party leaders who typically hold their posts for three years. As UMNO seeks to shore up its base after a May general vote that saw the government returned by its smallest margin, the meeting will provide an insight into policy priorities and leadership style ahead of the next election due in 2018.
One of those who may play a role in setting the party’s course is Mukhriz, whose 88-year-old father, Mahathir Mohamad, led Malaysia for 22 years until 2003. Prime Minister Najib Razak is the third from his family to be premier, while UMNO’s youth wing is headed by Khairy Jamaluddin, son-in-law of former Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.
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