MALAYSIAN prime minister-designate Dr Mahathir Mohamad said he expects to be sworn in today, insisting he had the majority support of newly-elected parliamentarians from the opposition coalition.
“There is an urgency here, we need to form the government now, today,” Mahathir told reporters.
The Pakatan Harapan (Alliance of Hope) led by Dr Mahathir’s defeated the long-ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition in Wednesday’s polls, ending six decades of the ousted ruling government’s rule since Malaysia’s independence from Britain.
Dr. Mahathir said his coalition will have the support of 135 members of Malaysia’s 222-seat parliament following the election, entitling him to form a government.
However, the Election Commission’s results show that the alliance, which contested under the People’s Justice Party Banner, officially gained 113 seats. Additionally, the alliance has a loose pact with the Sabah-based Warisan party that gained eight seats, which brings the total to 121 seats. The alliance also has the support of one independent candidate from the Batu constituency in Kuala Lumpur.
“Currently, there is no government of Malaysia,” he said.
“The candidate chosen by Pakatan Harapan as prime minister, that candidate you may have heard is Dr Mahathir Mohamad,” he quipped.
Earlier, outgoing Prime Minister Najib Razak said it was up to the monarch, Sultan Muhammad V, to appoint a prime minister as no coalition had secured a simp
BN will “respect any decision by the Agong,” Najib said.
No more delays
A retired Federal Court judge said the monarch had no choice but to appoint Dr Mahathir as prime minister as the constitution does not recognise political parties, only members of parliament.
Gopal Sri Ram cited Article 43 (2) of the constitution which states the king had to appoint a prime minister who, in his judgment, commanded the majority of the members of the House of Representatives (Dewan Rakyat).
“So the king has no choice but to call upon Mahathir to be sworn in as prime minister,” he said, as quoted by Free Malaysia Today.
“I would strongly advise the outgoing prime minister to adhere to the provision of the Federal Constitution to give up power gracefully.”
Meanwhile, the ruler of the southern state of Johor, Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar, called on his subjects to “accept the voice of the people” to form a government
“Without wasting anymore time, I am also looking forward to working with the new government for the best of my subjects,” the Sultan said in a Facebook posting
“Therefore the government must be appointed now without wasting any more time.”