KUALA LUMPUR, Tues:
The Umno disciplinary board has barred party vice-president and Malacca Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam from contesting the deputy presidency.
The announcement was made by Umno Disciplinary Board chairman Tengku Ahmd Rithaudeen Ismail at the party headquarters here.
Although Mohd Ali is not allowed to contest in next week's party election, he has not been suspended from the party.Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has added that Mohd Ali Rustam will continue as Malacca Chief Minister. He said he hoped that Mohd Ali will accept the decision with an open heart, and also urged him to continue contributing to the struggle of the party.
Meanwhile, former Selangor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Khir Toyo has been cleared of all charges while Umno Youth deputy chief Khairy Jamaluddin was found guilty but let off with a warning.
The three senior leaders were in the list of names being investigated for breaching party rules over money politics.
Mohd Ali had been a leading candidate in the race for the Umno deputy presidency, which will now see a straight fight between vice-presidents Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who is also the International Trade and Industry Minister, and Tan Sri Muhammad Muhammad Taib, who is also the Rural Development Minister.