Mahathir's opposition wins majority in Malaysian parliament

10 May, 2018, 06:48 | Author: Irvin Gilbert
  • Mahathir's opposition wins majority in Malaysian parliament

At the age of 92, Mahathir defeated the Barisan Nasional coalition, which has been in power 60 years.

"But before that, he must stand for elections after pardoned because one can only become prime minister if he is an MP or a senator", he told a press conference at around 3am to declare Pakatan Harapan's victory - unofficial at the time - against BN after winning over 112 parliament seats nationwide.

This comes after Malaysia's ruling party Barisan Nasional led by Prime Minister Najib Razak lost the general election to the Opposition alliance for the first time in 61 years.

Mahathir Mohamad, leader of the Malaysian opposition alliance Pakatan Harapan, said on Wednesday that the opposition "is taking a substantial lead" in vote counting and may have achieved enough seats to form the government.

Mr Mahathir was credited with modernising Malaysia during his rule and pledged that the new government would not seek "revenge" against political opponents.

"I have received reports from voting centres that many voters are gathered outside polling stations and that the process was moving quite slowly", he said.

The prime minister-elect has promised to stand aside for Anwar (who is serving the final days of a jail term on specious sodomy charges) to become prime minister.

Everyone was waiting for the arrival of Mr Najib, who is also BN chairman. There are 222 seats in parliament.

Angered by the graft scandal, Mahathir emerged from political retirement and joined the opposition in an attempt to oust Najib, his former protege. The swearing-in ceremony is likely to be held on Thursday, according to BBC.

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PH's targeted campaign in Johor, the birthplace of ruling party Umno, yielded some shock defeats for BN and several of its ministers and deputy ministers, including Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC) president Subramaniam Sathasivam in Segamat and Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA) vice-president Chua Tee Yong in Labis.

"We need to have only 112 (seats) and we would win".

"So far we have only named our Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister, and Prime Minister in waiting (Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim)".

Defying the odds, Mahathir was able to tap into a groundswell of unhappiness among the electorate over the rising cost of living, blamed by many on the unpopular 6 percent goods and services tax.

Najib, 64, has been buffeted by the scandal over 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), a state fund from which billions of dollars were allegedly syphoned off.

The 13th general election in 2013 saw a massive 85 percent of registered Malaysian voters turn out to exercise their rights at the polls, in which the ruling party saw its first loss in the popular vote.

Mahathir said in his speech that Malaysia is faced with many problems that only could be solved with the change of a government.

Experts had expected the National Front to lose the popular vote but still keep control of parliament after it redrew the country's electoral map.



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