if it was the grassroots' leaders who advised the other members not to contest, it would seem more reasonable, (but it shows that they are 'shoe-polishing'. however, to know that the so-called advice came from top leaders themselves, telling other not to contest somehow seem rather odd. as a leader, one should encourage it-in a healthy way. afterall, they are the ones who go about preaching democracy, 'fairness', equal opportunity...gosh*! konon lar!
may the best men win..(in this case, the top men)