Malaysia’s veteran leader Mahathir wins shock election victory

Mahathir Mohamad, former Malaysian prime minister as well as opposition candidate for Pakatan Harapan (Alliance of desire) reacts during a news conference after general election, in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia, May 9, 2018.

Lai Seng Sin | Reuters

Mahathir Mohamad, former Malaysian prime minister as well as opposition candidate for Pakatan Harapan (Alliance of desire) reacts during a news conference after general election, in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia, May 9, 2018.

An alliance of opposition parties spearheaded by Mahathir Mohamad won Malaysia’s general election on Thursday, official results showed, setting the veteran strongman on course for a return to the Prime Minister’s Office he occupied for 22 years.

Mahathir’s stunning defeat of the ruling coalition in which has ruled the Southeast Asian country since independence through Britain six decades ago means in which, at the age of 92, he will become the oldest elected leader within the planet.

Official results at 4:08 a.m. showed in which Mahathir’s Pakatan Harapan (Alliance of desire) had won 112 of parliament’s 222 seats, clinching the simple majority required to rule.

Najib’s ruling coalition, Barisan Nasional (BN), had 79.

Two more seats remained to be announced.

Mahathir told a news conference he supposed to be sworn in as prime minister later on Thursday.

“The time for change has come, as well as I desire the people in power realize in which,” said Asifa Hanifah, a young woman who joined thousands of opposition supporters in central Kuala Lumpur who waved flags, cheered as well as honked car horns.

Few had expected Mahathir to prevail against a coalition in which has long relied on the support of the country’s ethnic-Malay majority.

However, he joined hands with his one-time protege, the jailed politician Anwar Ibrahim, as well as together their alliance exploited public disenchantment over the cost of living as well as a multibillion-dollar scandal in which has dogged Najib since 2015.

Mahathir has promised to seek a royal pardon for Anwar if they win the election as well as, once Anwar will be free, to step aside as well as let him become prime minister.

Several key roads within the heart of the capital, where violence between races has played out within the past, were blocked off by police as evidence grew in which Najib’s coalition was on the back foot. In a statement, the police appealed for calm as well as said in which for right now the situation was under control.

Najib’s United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) party postponed an evening news conference as well as said Najib, who has ruled the country for nearly 10 years, could address the media at 9:45 a.m. on Thursday.

Malaysia’s currency weakened in offshore trading on the election result, with the ringgit one-month non-deliverable forward falling 2.4 percent to 4.07 against the dollar.

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