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Rafidah will stay on for 3 years if she wins - malaysiakini

Rafidah has been in the news lately (check Malaysiakini). She just declared that she would not support the prior transition plan.

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 21 - Wanita Umno chief Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz today announced that she would be defending her post in the party polls in March next year.

Rafidah who had garnered 117 nominations also said she would not step down if she wins the contest, effectively tearing to shreds the original transition plan hammered out with Datuk Shahrizat Jalil which would have seen the former retiring by next June.

Her announcement was made just a day after Shahrizat, the movement's No 2, said she would run for the Wanita chief's post. Shahrizat has 73 nominations and has also qualified to defend her Wanita deputy chief's post.

"I appreciate and respect the nominations that I have received from 117 divisions. I will let the delegates who represent the grassroots to decide the leader that they want for the period of 2009 to 2011," said Rafidah in an 11 page statement.

She was also disappointed with Shahrizat for not adhering to the transition plan which was agreed by everyone in the Wanita Umno exco.

"I am disappointed because the transition plan was questioned and rejected, more than three months after I made the announcement in August 2008. Since that day nobody, whether in the exco or outside, ever questioned it," said Rafidah.

She said that she did not expect a revolt after the end of the nomination process and believed that if any quarter in Wanita wanted to object to the transition plan, it should have been raised before the start of Umno divisional meetings, so the exco could have set aside the plan.

"Objection was raised after enough nominations were obtained, with baseless excuses," said Rafidah.

She added that the transition plan should not be affected by the postponement of party polls to March, and the issue of bringing forward the transition date does not arise.

"If it is brought forward to March, it means I am forced to surrender the post to Shahrizat without a contest. This denies the wishes of the 117 divisions who nominated me to lead until June 2009," said Rafidah.

Rafidah was the Minister of International Trade and Industry before she was dropped from the Cabinet after the last General Election, despite retaining her Parliamentary seat in Kuala Kangsar.

Shahrizat, who lost her Lembah Pantai seat to PKR's Nurul Izzah Anwar, was made Special Advisor to the Prime Minister on Women Affairs.

In August, Rafidah had agreed to step down in June next year to pave the way for Shahrizat to take over the movement's leadership, but the postponement of the party polls to March made many Wanita Umno leaders urge Rafidah to reconsider the transition plan.

Last weekend, the Wanita Umno exco reaffirmed its earlier decision for the top two posts in the wing not to be contested, but Kuala Kangsar Wanita chief, Datuk Kamilia Ibrahim, who has already qualified to run for No 2, insisted that the Wanita Umno exco had no right to decide on the movement's leadership.

Kamilia, who is also a Wanita Umno exco member, has won the No 2 post uncontested since Shahrizat has decided to go for the top post