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Malaysia parliament dissolved, way paved for election

07 April, 2018, 00:13 | Author: Priscilla Morrison
  • Mahathir Mohamad’s party has been banned from campaigning for 30 days. Bloomberg’s Shamim Adam reports

The 64-year-old leader is expected to retain power due to a rift in opposition ranks between Mahathir's bloc and the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party.

The opposition says the election will be unfair.

Also present with Najib during the telecast was deputy prime minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and other Cabinet ministers.

Najib said in a nationally televised address that he obtained consent from Malaysia's king to dissolve Parliament on Saturday, ahead of the expiry of his government's five-year mandate on June 24.

"The king has recommended for parliament to be dissolved effective Saturday, April 7", Najib said in a special announcement.

The Election Commission of Malaysia has not announced any date for next elections.




"If victory is given to BN, we promise to do our best, to carry out a bigger, more inclusive and more comprehensive transformation of the country", Najib said.

Political observers predict that the election will be held at the end of this month or early next month before Muslims begin the Ramadan fast in the middle of May.

In recent days, parliament approved plans to redraw electoral boundaries and passed a contentious anti-fake news bill, changes critics say will favour Najib.

Najib's United Malay National Organisation party has led every BN coalition since Malaysia gained independence from British rule in 1957.

Najib has so far weathered the 1MDB scandal by lurching sharply to the right with a crackdown that has seen numerous critics arrested, and analysts believe he is on course to win a third term.

Najib has denied any wrongdoing. Transactions related to 1MDB are under investigation in six countries including the US, Singapore and Switzerland. Mahathir, Asia's longest-serving premier for 22 years before he retired in 2003, turned against his protege two years ago over a corruption scandal and now leads an opposition alliance.

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