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Samy Vellu Set To Helm MIC For Record 10th Term

Contributed by Anonymous on Tuesday, February 28 @ 20:18:27 CST

Samy VelluFebruary 28, 2006 17:24 PM
By S. Retnanathan

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 28 (Bernama) -- With less than a week to go for the MIC presidential nomination, indications are that party president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu will be returned unopposed to the post for a record 10th term.

Based on the number of nomination forms collected by party grassroots leaders from the MIC headquarters, it is almost certain that the 70-year-old leader, who had been at the helm of the country's largest Indian-based political party since 1981, will lead the party for the next three years.

The party will hold its presidential nomination on Sunday, and sources in the MIC headquarters say that Samy Vellu, who is the Works Minister, will be returned without contest.

According to Article 58 of the party constitution, candidates vying for the president's post need 50 nominations and each nomination must be signed by a proposer and a seconder and supported by not less than four other members.

The proposer, seconder and the four other members must be MIC branch chairmen or members of the party's Central Working Committee (CWC).

This means that a person wanting to contest the highest position in the MIC must have the backing of at least 300 branch chairmen and/or CWC members.

Even if the person satisfies this mandatory requirement, it is hard to see anyone in the party giving Samy Vellu a run for his money in the upcoming presidential election based on the grassroots strength of the vocal Samy Vellu.

"I don't think there will be anyone going for the presidency. He will win on March 5. The number of nomination forms collected from the (MIC) headquarters point towards an uncontested win for the president," said an official at the party's head office, here.

The MIC numero uno has excellent grassroots support, and even if he is challenged, Samy Vellu is expected to win in the presidential polls set for March 25 without much hassle. The uncontested win will also be a birthday gift for Samy Vellu, who was born on March 8, 1936. After the nomination for the presidential election closes on Sunday, the party's attention will shift to the divisional elections for which nominations have been slated for March 10 and 11 and polling on March 18 and 25.

The divisional elections are important as national leaders from the deputy president downwards will be picked by the divisional leaders.

Elections for all national leadership positions, except the president's post, will be held in June, where in*****bent deputy president Datuk S. Subramaniam is expected to face a challenge from in*****bent vice-president Datuk G. Palanivel, who is Women, Family and Community Development Deputy Minister.

Over the last few months, Samy Vellu has openly endorsed Palanivel as his next deputy, sidelining the 62-year-old Subramaniam who has been MIC deputy president since 1980.

A tussle is also expected for the three posts of vice-president, especially with Palanivel moving up the ranks. The two other in*****bent vice-presidents, Datuk S. Veerasingam and Tan Sri K.S. Nijhar, are expected to defend their positions. The third slot is most likely to be taken up by party secretary-general Datuk S. Sothinathan.

Outsiders expected to have a go at the veep positions will most certainly be MIC Kuala Lumpur chief Datuk V.K.K. Thiagarajan and Tenggaroh (Johor) state assemblyman Datuk S. Krishnasamy.

Samy Vellu is expected to release the "president's line-up" for the June elections at the end of March after the divisional elections, going by the norm in previous party polls.




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