MPs to vote for new Malaysian PM in attempt to end impasse
KUALA LUMPUR : The stage is set for all 222 lawmakers in the Lower House of Malaysia's Parliament to vote for a new prime minister on Monday.
If they fail to end the impasse, the country will head to a general election for the people to decide.
Interim Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad revealed this yesterday after meeting the King, who had interviewed every MP over two days and found no candidate had majority support to form a new government.
The country was thrown into political turmoil on Monday when Dr Mahathir resigned as Prime Minister after his Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia pulled out of the ruling Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition.
The departure of 11 MPs from Pakatan Rakyat Malaysia (PKR), headed by Mr Anwar Ibrahim, left PH short of a simple majority in Parliament.
Dr Mahathir and Mr Anwar, former political foes who became allies to win power in the 2018 general election, are once again rivals, with Mr Anwar staking a claim to be PM.
The third major player is former ruling coalition Barisan Nasional (BN), which is now aligned with former rival Parti Islam Se-Malaysia.
They rejected Dr Mahathir's offer to join his proposed unity coalition and instead called for an election.
PKR and its two remaining allies still hold the most seats, but things could change quickly if and when the game of musical chairs begin.
Much could depend on whether the MPs in Umno, the power broker in BN, remain faithful to its plan of maintaining the stalemate in order to force a snap election.