A SMALL group of Supreme Council members led by a Cabinet minister is believed to be meeting Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi tonight to "talk about the transition plan."
The objectve of tonight's meeting is to persuade the Umno president to step down and avoid a contest in the mid-December party election. Many council members said they fear Abdullah may not get anough nominations to defend his post.
Sources within the council said Abdullah seemed inclined to make way for his deputy, Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Tun Razak, but yesterday took a hardened stand when persuaded by his supporters to "stand and fight."
Abdullah's supporters are on the ground trying to get an accurate reading of possible nominations. Abdullah's decision whether to quit or step aside would partly depend on this reading.
Based on today's mood, Abdullah cannot assume that nominations for him is automatic. Abdullah's detractors are confident that nomination for the incumbent will be hard to come by.
Divisional meetings start on Nov 9. A candidate must get at least 30 per cent of nominations to qualify for the contest.