Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said Monday he will announce tomorrow or on Wednesday whether he will defend the post of Umno president at the party elections in March next year.

“You wait la! Why are you so impatient?” the prime minister told reporters when asked when he would announce his decision.

He said he would meet with the leaders of Barisan Nasional (BN) component parties soon to inform them of the matter.

“Our colleagues in the BN have already indicated that they would like to be briefed. They want to be informed of what’s going to happen,” he said.

Abdullah spoke to reporters at a news conference after chairing a meeting of the Biotechnology International Advisory Panel at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC), here today.

Asked about the large number of candidates offering themselves for the post of deputy president, Abdullah said: “After a while, some of them will drop out and probably only one or two will remain.”

So far, Umno supreme council member Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, vice-president Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam and Pulai Umno Division head Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed have announced their intention to contest the deputy presidency.

Asked about Umno leaders stating their intention quite early to contest certain posts, he said that was their right and choice. The Umno divisional meetings to nominate candidates are scheduled to begin on Thursday.

Abdullah said that before he gave up the post of president under the transition of power, he would ensure that the objectives of the 2004 BN election manifesto were fulfilled.

“What I promised, I must deliver,” he said. Bernama