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Malaysia GE15: Coalitions locked in negotiations as PH and PN seek parliamentary majority

The king has asked the political parties that won the most seats to present their numbers by Monday at 2pm.

Malaysia GE15: Coalitions locked in negotiations as PH and PN seek parliamentary majority

A motorcyclist rides past Pakatan Harapan and Perikatan Nasional banners in Tambun, Perak. (Photo: CNA/Gaya Chandramohan)

KUALA LUMPUR: Political coalitions were locked in negotiations on Sunday (Nov 20) after the result of Malaysia’s 15th General Election (GE15) saw no coalition emerge with a simple majority in the Lower House. 

Pakatan Harapan (PH) and Perikatan Nasional (PN) are both in pole position to form the next government, winning 81 and 73 seats respectively.

All eyes are now on closed-door talks with potential partners, including the parties based in Sabah and Sarawak as well as Barisan Nasional (BN). 

In a Facebook post on Sunday, PN chairman Muhyiddin Yassin said that a meeting has been held with Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS) president Abdul Hadi Awang and Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) chairman Abang Johari Abang Openg to discuss the formation of a federal government. 

PAS is a component party of PN. 

Mr Muhyiddin also said that negotiations are also being held with other parties and independent Members of Parliament (MPs). 

“God willing, a federal government can be formed soon,” said the former prime minister.

Earlier in the morning, Mr Muhyiddin said that PN is ready to work with other parties to form a government. But he ruled out joining hands with PH.

Mr Muhyiddin also said that PN will take steps to discuss the matter of forming the next government as soon as possible and conclude the discussions by Sunday evening.

In one of the most fiercely contested elections in Malaysian history with over 900 candidates vying for a seat in the parliament, GPS managed to win 22 seats while Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) won six seats. They are now seen as potential kingmakers.

BN finished a distant third behind PH and PN, winning 30 parliamentary seats. There are 222 seats in the Lower House and any governing coalition needs to have control of at least 112 seats.

As of 1.30pm, PH has yet to give an update on its negotiations with coalition partners.

On early Sunday morning, PH chairman Anwar Ibrahim said that the coalition has managed to get the support of lawmakers to form the government with a simple majority. He did not elaborate on which parties PH might be working with.

File photos of Muhyiddin Yassin and Anwar Ibrahim. (Photos: CNA/Fadza Ishak/Gaya Chandramohan)

In a statement issued on Sunday afternoon, the king asked the political parties that won the most seats to present their numbers by Monday, 2pm.

He also asked the coalitions to propose their candidates for the prime minister post.

Meanwhile, Malaysian media reported on Sunday that several United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) state leaders were gathering for a political bureau meeting at the party headquarters. UMNO is the lynchpin party of BN.

UMNO was reportedly scheduled to hold its supreme council meeting on Sunday afternoon. But the meeting was postponed. 

BN said on Sunday night that it “accepts and respects” the people’s decision.

The outcome of GE15 is a “big signal” from the people to the coalition, said BN chairman and UMNO president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

The coalition remains committed to contributing to the formation of a stable government, he added.

Several senior figures in UMNO, including Johor chief minister Onn Hafiz Ghazi, have called for Ahmad Zahid’s resignation.

Analysts told CNA that the GE15 result marked the “end of an era” for BN, with corruption cases playing a key role in the downfall of the former ruling coalition.

Source: CNA/aw
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