KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 17  — UMNO vice-president Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob has been picked as the Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate for the post of prime minister, according to two BN Members of Parliament (MPs).

Pasir Salak MP Datuk Seri Tajuddin Abdul Rahman and Pengerang MP Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said said this decision was reached by consensus at a meeting of BN MPs here tonight.

“Yes Ismail Sabri. We have crossed the number 111 (parliamentary majority) with the support from Bersatu, PAS,” Tajuddin told reporters after the BN meeting at the World Trade Centre KL.

He said UMNO and BN decided to nominate Ismail Sabri because he was “friendly” to all parties.

Azalina said Ismail Sabri, who is also BN chief whip, was BN’s choice as he was viewed as the most agreeable to all MPs.

“He technically holds the highest (position) next to the (UMNO) president, and he was also a deputy prime minister. 

“In that sequence he looks most agreeable for all of us, so we hope for the best,” she said.

Earlier, the UMNO Supreme Council also held a special meeting at the same venue to discuss the party’s candidate for prime minister, whose name will be submitted to Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah tomorrow.

Earlier today, leaders of political parties were summoned to Istana Negara for an audience with His Majesty, believed in connection with the resignation of Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin as prime minister yesterday.

Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun, in a statement today, also asked MPs to each submit a statutory declaration (SD) to Istana Negara on their choice of candidate to be nominated as the ninth prime minister.

The SD must be submitted to Istana Negara by 4 pm tomorrow at the latest or it would not be considered.


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