Wily Operator: Mahathir Resigns But Set To Comeback As PM In A New Coalition That Will Now Feature Main Opposition Party

by Swarajya Staff - Feb 24, 2020 02:45 PM +05:30 IST
Wily Operator: Mahathir Resigns But Set To Comeback As PM In A New Coalition That Will Now Feature Main Opposition PartyMalaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad 

The political crisis in Malaysia deepened further with prime minister Mahathir Mohamad submitting his resignation as the country's ruling coalition Pakatan Harapan (PH) collapsed.

Hectic political parleys are on to put together a new coalition arrangement to prevent Anwar Ibrahim from succeeding Mahathir Mohamad.

A new coalition is likely to be formed by coming together of principal opposition party UMNO, Mahathir's own outfit Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) and a breakaway faction of People's Justice Party (PKR members) led by Azmin Ali, the economic affairs minister. PKR, headed by Anwar Ibrahim, is the largest party in the ruling Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition government.

The new coalition is seen as a backdoor attempt by the wily Mahathir to serve out his full five-year term as prime minister rather than hand over to Anwar as promised.

Mahathir Mohamad had promised to hand over power to Anwar Ibrahim after stabilising the new administration that rode to power in May 2018 after unseating the previous Barisan Nasional government. But Mahathir, after assuming power, has claimed that he is best placed to lead the country and undo the damage inflicted by the scandal hit government of his predecessor, Najib Razak.

The uncertainty over succession has led to frequent infighting between two rival factions of PKR: supporters of Anwar, and those backing Azmin Ali, the country’s economic affairs Minister.

Eleven dissident MPs from PKR who are aligned with Azmin Ali have also resigned from the party and the Pakatan Harapan coalition to form a new independent bloc in Parliament.

Mahathir’s PPBM has already announced that it will leave Pakatan Harapan coalition. The party president Muhyiddin Yassin said that all lawmakers from the party would also leave the coalition and that all of them had signed a statutory declaration to support the leadership of Mahathir Mohamad as the prime minister of the country.

Under Malaysia’s constitution, a potential prime ministerial candidate needs to have the support of at least 112 MPs.

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