Ex-premier Mahathir Mohamad’s opposition alliance scored a historic victory Thursday in Malaysia’s 14th General Election, ousting the Barisan Nasional government which had ruled the country since independence six decades ago.
The 92-year-old Mahathir’s Pakatan Harapan (PH) bloc had secured 113 seats to gain a simple majority in the 222-member parliament and form the federal government, according to official Election Commission results posted online at 5 a.m. Thursday (local time).
Tainted by corruption allegations, Prime Minister Najib Razak’s Barisan Nasional got only 79 seats, ejecting him from government leadership after being at the helm for about a decade.
The Pakatan coalition comprised several opposition parties, including Mahathir’s Malaysian United Indigenous Party (Bersatu), the People’s Justice Party (PKR), the Democratic Action Party (DAP), and the faith-based National Trust Party (Amanah).
All campaigned under the banner of PKR, the party of jailed opposition icon Anwar Ibrahim who is expected to take over from Mahathir after he is released next month and gains a royal pardon.
The move to run under a common logo in the election came after the authorities rejected Pakatan’s application for registration as a political coalition and also de-listed Bersatu as a party.
Under the country’s electoral system, the party with a simple majority of seats in the 222-member parliament can form the government.
During the 2013 election, BN lost the majority vote but pulled in 133 seats.
Full story: BenarNews
Hadi Azmi and N. Nantha
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