Former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak led his party in local elections on Saturday, giving the party – which has ruled the country for the longest time in its history – a strong boost ahead of the upcoming general elections.
The United Malaysian National Organization (UMNO) was the core of the coalition that ruled Malaysia for six decades until it was ousted in 2018 following corruption allegations.
The party’s election campaign was led by former party leader Najib Razak, who filed an appeal after being found guilty of embezzlement from Malaysia’s sovereign fund.
After a period of political turmoil during which two governments collapsed, the UMNO party made its way back to power at the national level 3 months ago, and regained the position of prime minister earlier this year.
The party competed in the local legislative elections of the southern state of Malacca with its partners in the national government and an opposition coalition, and the party’s victory is an indication of its ability to achieve good results in the national elections.
Malacca has traditionally been a stronghold of the UMNO except in 2018, when the party lost its leadership.
The party won two-thirds of the state parliament seats, and controlled through its alliances 21 of the 28 contested seats, while its partner in the government secured two seats.
It also represents a major victory for Najib, and may pave the way for the “United Malaysian National Organization” to once again dominate the national political scene, according to analysts.