KUALA LUMPUR: Opposition coalition Pakatan Harapan (PH) has crossed the minimum threshold of 112 seats needed to form Malaysia’s new government, according to figures from the Election Commission early Thursday (May 10) morning.
In a press conference just before the official confirmation, opposition leader and former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad said Pakatan Harapan had achieved the majority vote.
“We have achieved a very substantial majority,” said the 92-year-old.
As at 3.45am, PH component parties Parti Keadilan Rakyat had won 102 seats while Democratic Action Party had nine.
PH’s victory was achieved after the Warisan party, which won six parliamentary seats, joined the coalition.
Barisan Nasional had taken 79 seats.
Dr Mahathir also said that a palace request has been made for Parti Keadilan Rakyat leader Wan Azizah Wan Ismail to be the designated Prime Minister.
The 92-year-old pledged a government that would include a “young person” and said he would honour his agreement to help secure a royal pardon for jailed opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim.
However, he added that Anwar would have to win a by-election or be elected senator in order for him to take over as prime minister from Dr Mahathir, as per their agreement.
Analysts expect the result will have an impact on Prime Minister Najib Razak’s position in his party, the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO).
While Najib has been praised for his fiscal policies, he was also unpopular for rolling out a goods and services tax in addition to being a target of unwanted international attention over allegations funds were misappropriated from a state fund he advised, 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB). He has denied any wrongdoing.
It was the controversy over the fund, however, that sparked Malaysia’s longest serving prime minister’s return to active politics. Mahathir had accused his former protege Najib of corruption and abuse of power before quitting UMNO to form his own party, Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia.