Malaysian elections result in the first-ever hung parliament


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Malaysia (Commonwealth Union)_ The recently concluded national elections in Malaysia, which were intended to overcome the political deadlock, have exacerbated the situation, as none of the main parties received enough votes to establish a new government. The outcome was the first hung parliament in the history of Malaysian politics, as voters decisively rejected the incumbent Barisan National coalition of current Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob, which won only 30 of the available 220 seats. 

The alliance comprised of the then-strong United Malays National Organization Party, which ruled for decades. Following 53 years of service, expert Malaysian legislator and former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad lost his seat. He was most recognized for the economic development of Malaysia in the 1980s. The multiethnic Pakatan Harapan alliance, headed by expert opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, bagged 82 seats. The party led by former Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, Perikatan Nasional, won 73 seats.  

Perikatan Nasional, also known as the National Alliance, enjoys the backing of an Islamic party that advocates for the implementation of shariah, or Islamic law, in the nation. Following the election, Muhyiddin said: “I am confident I will obtain enough support from lawmakers that will enable me to be appointed by the king as prime minister”. As a progressive step, competing parties must nominate an eligible candidate they believe has majority support in the lower chamber of parliament. The Supreme Council of the Barisan Nasional coalition was unable to decide which coalition it would endorse to establish the next federal government.

Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong, the president of the alliance, stated at the UMNO headquarters that discussions with the main parties will continue on Tuesday. Wee stated that no decisions were taken during the meeting of the Supreme Council. According to Malaysia’s longest-ruling coalition, it was unable to finalize which group to back as the recent polls left neither party with enough seats to establish a strong government on its own and that it would request additional time from the Southeast Asian nation’s monarch.  

The statement of the National Front has prolonged electoral uncertainty. Initially, King Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah gave a deadline of 2:00 p.m. for political leaders to finalize their candidate for prime minister and an alliance representing a legislative majority. However, in response to a request from political parties, he subsequently stated he would extend it until Tuesday.


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