Kuala Lumpur, (UNA-OIC) – Malaysia’s Mahathir Mohamad said he expected to be sworn in as prime minister later on Thursday, after the 92-year-old former premier and his opposition coalition, Pakatan Harapan – the Alliance of Hope – won a shock election victory.
Once sworn in, Mahathir would be the world’s oldest head of government. “This party has won a clear majority,” said Mahathir. “Any delay will mean that we will not have a government, no law, no constitution, and all the institutions to form the government.”
Earlier on Thursday, incumbent Prime Minister Najib Razak conceded defeat, saying, “I accept the verdict of the people,” but he added that since no political party won a simple majority, Malaysia’s king should determine who will be the next prime minister.
Najib said his ruling political coalition, Barisan Nasional, would “respect whatever decision is made by the king,” apparently leaving open the possibility of seeking intervention in the results.
Mahathir acknowledged the delay in the swearing-in, saying it occurred due to a “lack of understanding with the constitution,” but he said he hoped to before sunset.
Mahathir’s win created history by ending the ruling coalition’s 60-year grip on power. The official results showed Pakatan Harapan secured 113 of the 222 seats being contested, including some which have only ever been held by the government. Barisan Nasional (BN) took 79 seats. Mahathir was prime minister, at the head of the BN coalition, for 22 years, from 1981 until he stepped down in 2003. Under his leadership, Malaysia became one of the Asian tigers – the group of countries which saw their economies expand rapidly in the 1990s.
Source: International Islamic News Agency