Malaysia election: Opposition names Mahathir as candidate for prime minister

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Malaysia’s opposition coalition on January 7 named Mahathir Mohamad, the country’s 92-year old former premier, as its prime ministerial candidate for a general election to be held this August. Mahatir is head of the newly founded Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM), which entered an electoral pact with Malaysia’s main opposition coalition Pakatan Harapan in October last year.

Mahathir, who earned a reputation during his 22-year tenure as prime minister of being a no-nonsense authoritarian, is seen as the biggest threat for Prime Minister Najib Razak, who is engulfed in a corruption scandal involving state fund 1MDB.

In case the opposition wins, Mahathir would become the world’s oldest leader. He would also pave the way to the top for popular opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, who is currently imprisoned for purportedly political reasons, but is set to be released in June this year after more than three years in jail.

However, under Malaysian law, convicted criminals are banned from political activities for five years after their release. But a royal pardon, as sought by the opposition, would let him contest.

Mahathir and Anwar’s wife Wan Azizah Wan Ismail will be the Pakatan Harapan coalition’s candidates for the premier and deputy prime ministerial posts respectively, secretary general Saifuddin Abdullah said at the alliance’s convention in Kuala Lumpur.

Mahathir has said his main political target is to prevent current Prime Minister Najib Razak from winning a third consecutive term., and political observers say chances are that he might succeed.

 

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Reading Time: 1 minute

Malaysia’s opposition coalition on January 7 named Mahathir Mohamad, the country’s 92-year old former premier, as its prime ministerial candidate for a general election to be held this August. Mahatir is head of the newly founded Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM), which entered an electoral pact with Malaysia’s main opposition coalition Pakatan Harapan in October last year.

Reading Time: 1 minute

Malaysia’s opposition coalition on January 7 named Mahathir Mohamad, the country’s 92-year old former premier, as its prime ministerial candidate for a general election to be held this August. Mahatir is head of the newly founded Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM), which entered an electoral pact with Malaysia’s main opposition coalition Pakatan Harapan in October last year.

Mahathir, who earned a reputation during his 22-year tenure as prime minister of being a no-nonsense authoritarian, is seen as the biggest threat for Prime Minister Najib Razak, who is engulfed in a corruption scandal involving state fund 1MDB.

In case the opposition wins, Mahathir would become the world’s oldest leader. He would also pave the way to the top for popular opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, who is currently imprisoned for purportedly political reasons, but is set to be released in June this year after more than three years in jail.

However, under Malaysian law, convicted criminals are banned from political activities for five years after their release. But a royal pardon, as sought by the opposition, would let him contest.

Mahathir and Anwar’s wife Wan Azizah Wan Ismail will be the Pakatan Harapan coalition’s candidates for the premier and deputy prime ministerial posts respectively, secretary general Saifuddin Abdullah said at the alliance’s convention in Kuala Lumpur.

Mahathir has said his main political target is to prevent current Prime Minister Najib Razak from winning a third consecutive term., and political observers say chances are that he might succeed.

 

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