SEPT 26 - It is game over for Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.
His 2010 transition plan was shredded by his deputy and the Umno Supreme Council today and he was presented with little choice but to accept the exit plan.
The plan calls for the Umno General Assembly and party elections to be postponed from December till March next year. Divisions will still meet from Oct 9 and nominate candidates for top positions in the party.
At a brief press conference after the Supreme Council meeting, Abdullah appeared to suggest as much that the 2010 plan had been dumped.
The Umno president said: "If we want to make it before 2010, it is not an issue."
He also added that he would make an announcement before Oct 9, when party divisions will meet to nominate their candidates for the party leadership.
One name not likely to be considered is Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. He is expected to announce that he will not defend his party president's position, possibly just after the Hari Raya holidays.
He will then stay on as party president and prime minister until March 2009. Presumably he will be given some time to complete some of the reforms he promised Malaysians and then be given a grand send off at the party assembly.
Party vice-president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who has been one of those pressuring Pak Lah to step down earlier, said after the meeting, that the postponement of the general assembly was effectively a new deadline for Abdullah to leave office.
The extension of his term of office until at least March will not remove the bitter feeling among Abdullah's supporters that he allowed himself to be outflanked by Najib and other supreme council members,